MIRANSHAH: Asmatullah Shaheen, the former Emir of the Taliban Shura (council) and the former interim chief of the Taliban, was killed along with three others in Dargah Mandi, North Waziristan.
According to sources, unidentified assailants ambushed a vehicle in Dargah Mandi killing all four passengers on the spot. The attackers managed to escape unscathed.
Asmatullah Shaheen belonged to the Bethni Tribe in South Waziristan. The Bhethni tribesmen reside in South Waziristan’s Jandola district as well as in district Tank of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Asmatullah Shaheen had served as the Emir of the Taliban Shura (council). Following the death of TTP Chief Hakimullah Mehsud, Asmatullah had taken over as interim chief as he was the head of the shura. Earlier, Khan Said Sajna had been named as chief. Sources suggest Asmatullah could have been murdered for his rivalry with Khan Said Sajna.
Sources further add that Asmatullah was instrumental in advocating a ceasefire, adding he had wanted the release of Professor Ajmal as a good will gesture.
Hoping to remain safe from Drone strikes, Asmatullah is said to have been living in territory where Hafiz Gul Bahadur holds influence.
In 2009 when Pakistan released a list of wanted Taliban members, Asmatullah was also on that list with a price of Rs. 10 million on his head.
Asmatullah had previously survived five attacks on his life. It is also said, that prior to joining the Taliban, Asmatullah had been part of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen fighting a jihad in Kashmir.