Taliban confirm recent drone strike killed 3 of Nazir’s deputies

Mullah Nazir’s Taliban faction confirmed that three of their commanders were killed in the March 13 drone strike in the Drey Nishtar area of South Waziristan. Initially, just two commanders, Shamsullah and Amir Hamza, were reported killed. Nazir’s followers recently identified a third. From The Express Tribune:

In a pamphlet distributed locally, the Mullah Nazir-led Taliban faction, however, warned that their ranks were swelling contrary to common perception.

This come amidst reports that the Taliban have been weakened by infighting and supply of fresh recruits has dried up for them.

The pamphlet identified the dead militant commanders as Shamsullah, Amir Hamza Tojikhel and Qari Haleemullah.

“We were less in numbers when we were affiliated with the Tehreek-e-Taliban Afghanistan but now under the leadership of Mullah Nazir, we are in thousands,” reads the pamphlet.

The group also vowed to avenge the death of its commanders in drone attacks. “Infidels are subjecting the Muslim world to atrocities – mosques and madrassas are being targeted; even children of four to six months of age are not spared,” it said.

Keep in mind that Nazir is the “good Taliban” leader who is favored by the Pakistani establishment as he does not advocate attacks on the state. Nazir has openly declared he is a member of al Qaeda and launches attacks into Afghanistan.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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