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Pakistan Taliban: We'll 'avoid' kidnapping or killing civilians

ISLAMABAD -- Taliban factions in Pakistan have agreed to avoid killing or kidnapping innocent civilians but threatened they would continue suicide attacks and fighting against the country's security forces and their allies.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), headed by Hakimullah Mahsud, also confirmed it would continue to take part in attacks in Afghanistan.


Victims of the Taliban in Pakistan include Daniel Pearl, the American Wall Street Journal reporter abducted in Karachi in 2002 and beheaded. His remains were found in a shallow grave on the city's outskirts three months later.

"Yes we signed accord with three other major Taliban groups of Maulvi Nazeer, Hafiz Gul Bahadur and an Afghan Taliban faction to avoid killing of innocent people and kidnapping for ransom but we did not agree with them to stop suicide attacks and our fight against Pakistani security forces," TTP spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan told NBC News by telephone from somewhere in the tribal areas.

The TTP, he said, has neither announced any ceasefire nor has any plan to do so in the near future, warning that their fighters would continue their operations in Pakistan.

He denied reports, attributed to Afghan Taliban supreme leader Mulla Mohammad Omar, that the TTP would move its attacks from Pakistan to Afghanistan.

"Look, for us Pakistan is as important as Afghanistan, therefore we can not stop our activities here," he insisted.

He also denied differences between the TTP leadership, saying Hakimullah Mahsud was still leader of the Pakistani Taliban and Maulana Waliur Rahman as his deputy.

Pakistan media have reported conflicting statements over a possible peace process between the government and militant groups since September, when political parties urged a new effort at seeking talks.

Militants and troops have continued to fight in several of the seven ethnic Pashtun tribal districts that form the main base of the Taliban movement.

Almost 20,000 people have been killed in insurgent violence in Pakistan since 2009, according to a database maintained by the New Delhi, India-based South Asia Terrorism portal.

Two people were killed and 15 wounded when a homemade bomb exploded in a market in Peshawar, capital of the northwestern Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, police officials said on Tuesday. It was not immediately clear who was responsible.

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Msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.