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Qari Zainuddin Mehsud, who recently emerged as a rival to Baitullah Mehsud, was shot dead in Dera Ismail Khan on Tuesday morning (Pakistani time). A number of people in Pakistan saw Zainuddin – a well-respected commander and member of the Mehsud tribe – as a potentially powerful ally against Baitullah. I’m crashing on work for my day job, but I’ll try to post a more detailed analysis. At which point I’ll also recap some of the highlights of the Afghanistan/Pakistan panel I sat on today at the International Terrorism and Intelligence conference.

As much as I’d love to point you toward other news analysis on the Zainuddin assassination, the news just broke. Will try to at least link to some decent analysis tomorrow morning.