Maulana Ashraf Ali Marwat, the bloodthirsty Tehreek-e-Taliban commander who was responsible for bombing a volleyball match in which more than 100 people died in January 2010 has been shot dead in South Waziristan, according to reports.
Marwat helped to plan the attack in Shah Hasankhel village (his home village!) in which a truck loaded with explosives was detonated at the packed tournament in Northwestern Lakki Marwat district. He was also suspected of planning the murder of renowned scholar and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) leader Muhammad Azeem Khan Begokhel and of Marwat Peace Jirga chief Moulana Mohsin Shah in May 2012.
The Express Tribune reports that 'Commander Ali', as he was known, was buried in a village close to Miranshah. No-one has claimed responsibility for killing him, but he had plenty of enemies. “Not many people participated in the funeral” explained a local TTP commander, suggesting that Marwat may have lost support from the group prior to his murder. In the recent past his main activities were bombing schools and threatening and extorting locals.
Meanwhile, it seems to be rivalry and killing as usual in FATA. Hakimullah Mahsud's TTP fighters have threatened to attack the Wana-based Maulvi Nazir group in South Waziristan, following the murder last week of Wali Mohammad Wazir. Wali Muhammad was the younger brother of Nek Mohammad Wazir, a former commander who was the first person to die in a US drone strike, back in 2004.
Local Wazir tribesmen had forced Wali Mohammad and his mainly foreign (Uzbek) supporters to leave the area in early 2008 after many complaints about their behaviour. Wali Mohammad survived by moving to North Waziristan, where he received protection from the Hakimullah Mahsud faction of the TTP. Following negotiations with Maulvi Nazir a few months ago, Wali Mohammad was allowed to return to South Waziristan. However, it seems he brought Uzbek and Tajik militants back with him and it was this that prompted Maulvi Nazir to have him killed.
Meanwhile in Orakzai agency on Sunday a suicide bomber detonated a truck bomb in the compound of TTP Commander Mullah Nabi, killing around a dozen people and wounding 20. Prime suspect is Mullah Toofan. His target, Mullah Nabi, survived. Who needs enemies when you have comrades in the TTP?