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The head of the Pakistani Taliban is making a last-ditch bid to stamp his authority on the increasingly divided insurgency by ordering a top commander sacked. Maulana Fazlullah moved against Khan “Sajna” Said on Friday after weeks of bloody infighting in the powerful Mehsud tribe that supplies the bulk of the Pakistani Taliban fighters. Scores of men have been killed. The risk for Fazlullah is that Said might ignore him and battle on. Said is trying to wrest control of the Mehsud tribe – with its many weapons and lucrative smuggling routes and extortion business – from rival Shehryar Mehsud.

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