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Taliban Commander Killed In Pakistan Explosion

WANA, Pakistan -- Intelligence sources in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal area say Taliban commander Maulvi Abbas has been killed.

Local authorities told RFE/RL that an explosion morning at the busy Rustam Bazaar in the town of Wana on the morning of December 21 killed three other people, including a son of Abbas.

Six others were reportedly injured.

Security forces cordoned off the area following the attack, which apparently targeted Abbas, a commander previously affiliated with Uzbek militants.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

South Waziristan, located near the Afghan border, is plagued by violent insurgent activity.

Five Bus Passengers Killed By Gunmen

Elswhere in Pakistan, unidentified gunmen have killed five people the southwestern Balochistan Province.

RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports that the armed men intercepted a bus in the town of Mach and shot dead three men after checking their identification.

The gunmen took away two other male passengers.

Their bodies were later discovered on December 21.

All five men came from neighboring Punjab Province.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Balochistan Province is the scene of a decades-long insurgency by Baluch nationalists, who demand greater autonomy, and a larger share of profits from the region's oil, gas, and mineral resources.

The area has also experienced a spike in sectarian killings in the past year as radical Sunni Muslims have targeted Shi'ite Muslims.

With reporting by