Senior Pakistani Taliban leaders join Islamic State

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# 19:49
9 April 2015
The Chief of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan in Bajaur tribal region, Maulana Abu Bakar and his deputy Qari Zahid, parted ways with the Taliban and joined Daish, the Daish spokesman for the region Shahidullah Shahid said.
 
Shahid also said all members of the Taliban council in Bajaur, commanders, scholars and judges of the Islamic court have recognized Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of Islamic State, as their leader.
 
Abu Bakar, one of the influential Taliban leaders, was appointed the TTP Bajaur chief by Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2013.
 
"The TTP Bajaur leaders have declared allegiance to Hafif Saeed Khan, leader of the Islamic State for Khorasan region," Shahid told the media by the phone. The militant groups consider Pakistan and Afghanistan as part of the Khorasan region.
 
Hafiz Saeed Khan, the TTP chief for Orakzai agency, was the most influential in the TTP ranks, who had joined Daish in October last year along with five senior leaders including Shahidullah Shahid.
 
The TTP spokesman, Mohammad Khorasani, said on Monday that the group Bajaur's chief and his deputy have resigned. He had, however, avoided giving reasons for their resignation.
 
The Taliban have not commented on the new development.
 
More TTP leaders joining Daish reflect the group faces serious challenges at a time when they have lost grounds in North Waziristan and Tirah Valley in Khyber agencies in the wake of military offensive.
 
The situation would also emerge as a new phenomenon in Pakistan and also in neighboring Afghanistan as reports suggest Taliban white flags have been replaced with the Daish's black flags in some parts.
 
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