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Senior Taliban commander, 4 other militants die in blast in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A senior Taliban commander, Ghulam Jan, along with four militants died in a bomb blast at Mana village, 15 kilometers west of Wana, the capital of South Waziristan, on Thursday.

Tribal and official sources said someone had planted an improvised explosive device in the village near the Afghan border.

"His vehicle ran over an IED planted by unknown people, and he died on the spot," a local administration official, Shahid Ali, said in Wana.

Local tribesmen said Jan and his four men died at the site.

They said he was considered an important figure of the pro-government Taliban organization previously led by the late militant commander Maulvi Nazeer.

Nazeer, who was close to the Afghan Taliban, died in a U.S. drone attack in 2012 and was replaced by Commander Salahuddin Ayubi.

The Pakistani government, after bloody clashes in March 2007, signed a peace accord with his group and allowed it to operate in South Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan's restive Paktika province.