DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — A senior Pakistani militant figure says he and several of his associates have split from the Pakistani Taliban and formed their own group, inspired by the Afghan Taliban and their fight against U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
The development comes as Pakistan is waging an offensive against militants in North Waziristan, near Afghanistan's border.
This is the second time in four months that a faction has parted ways with the Taliban. In May, a South Waziristan branch split off.
In a video released late Tuesday, commander Maulana Qasim Khurassani says the new group is named Jamaat-ul-Ahrar. He says the split followed differences with the Taliban leadership.
The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban, are fighting to overthrow the Pakistani government and install their own harsh brand of Islamic law.