5 key players in Pakistan's tribal belt

Pakistan’s security forces have conducted military operations in many of the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan, except North Waziristan, causing the area to become something of a haven for militants.

Tribal and local intelligence sources say some 15,000 militants take shelter in this semiautonomous tribal belt.

“It’s a cobweb,” says former Pakistani diplomat Ayaz Wazir.

Based on interviews with local tribesmen and intelligence sources, here’s a list of the five biggest players in the region:

4. Qari Hussain

Widely considered the deadliest of all commanders, Mr. Hussain is reported to be second in the TTP’s hierarchy, after his cousin Hakim Ullah Mehsud. His expertise lies in producing teenage suicide bombers.

He is believed to have trained the Jordanian militant Humam Khalil Muhammad Abu Mulal al Balawi, who blew himself up in Khost, killing seven CIA personnel last December.

The Pakistani government has put $600,000 on his head.

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