ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A militant commander in northwest Pakistan tore up a peace deal with the Pakistani government Tuesday, dealing a major blow to the government's campaign against Islamist insurgents in the extremist-controlled Waziristan region.
The commander, Gul Bahadur, who heads the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan, ended his pact with Islamabad and threatened more attacks on the army after an assault on a military convoy in his area Sunday claimed the lives of at least 16 soldiers.
Pakistan's military had sought to confine the battle in Waziristan to warlord Baitullah Mehsud, a rival of Bahadur and an ally of al-Qaida who led the militant takeovers of several regions in northwest Pakistan. Now it finds itself facing Baitullah Mehsud and Bahadur, as well as a third Taliban commander in the region bordering Afghanistan: Maulvi Nazir, an ally of Bahadur.
Nazir and Bahadur had focused on the insurgency in Afghanistan, threatening the U.S.-led coalition there but not Pakistan. Bahadur blamed missile strikes in his territory by American drone aircraft for turning him against the Pakistani government.