One of the most powerful Taliban factions in Pakistan has split away from the main Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) network to form its own entity, the new group announced Wednesday.
The departure of the Mehsud faction, which belongs to the Taliban's founding family, means the new group will take almost half of the TTP's fighters with them.
It will operate under the leadership of Khan Syed, a former commander for Hakeemullah Mehsud who uses the alias Khalid Sajna and was dismissed from the Taliban leadership for his fighters' involvement in infighting in northwestern tribal regions.
The new entity's spokesperson Azam Tariqsaid in a pamphlet distributed in South Waziristan, where he was the TTP's spokesperson, that the TTP had lost sight of its objectives and taken the Taliban down the wrong "path."
Many believe the split had become inevitable since the election of Maulvi Fazlullahas TTP chief after Hakeemullah Mehsud was killed by a U.S. drone in November 2013.
Fazlullah beat Sajna to the role but was the first leader of the Taliban network who was not from the powerful Mehsud tribe, which comprises 60 percent of South Waziristan's population,and founded the group.
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