Anti-Taliban Tribal Leaders Targeted in Pakistan

A second attack on an anti-Taliban tribal leader in as many weeks has raised concern that the new chief of the umbrella Taliban group in Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is upping his game after a quiet few weeks following the death of his predecessor by a CIA drone strike in August.

Monday morning a suicide car bomber hit the convoy carrying Maulvi Abdul Hakim, a tribal elder who was a member of a group that frequently takes on the Taliban in the restive northwest near the border with Afghanistan. Three others were killed in the attack including his bodyguards.

Hakim allowed Pakistan security forces to travel through land he controlled to reach areas held by the Taliban.

“This is no doubt an act by the new Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud to assert himself and to show that TTP was not impacted by the killing of the previous leader,” former Pakistani Army general and military analyst Talat Masood told FOX News.

Today’s attack was near an area where just last week several pro-government tribal leaders were gunned down by suspected Taliban militants.

“These attacks are designed to prevent the anti-Taliban movements near the tribal areas from growing and for the Taliban to show that the Pakistani government can’t protect those who act against them,” said Massod. “It’s the responsibility of the government to provide extra security for those helping them.”

It was a bloody weekend in Pakistan with over 20 people killed in two attacks. The Taliban claimed responsibility for one carried out in the northwest’s largest city Peshawar on Saturday that killed 11 people.