The UN have published a little guide as to who is shooting this week. It might be of interest to some on here who think that there is some vast organised Islamic militant network, as opposed to a bunch of sectarian loons with as much in common as the People's Front of Judea and the Judean People's Front. IRIN Asia | PAKISTAN: A guide to main militant groups | Pakistan | Governance | Conflict ISLAMABAD, 13 October 2010 (IRIN) - There are at least nine major militant groups in northern Pakistan and the Punjab, battling the Pakistan army, US forces, and each other. Bombings of Sufi shrines in the cities of Karachi and Lahore this year - the hardliners response to that more moderate tradition within Islam - has added to the toll of violence. Most of the armed groups operating in the Federally Administered Tribal Area and neighbouring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province are splinter groups from Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). They have varying degrees of loyalty to leaders of the Afghan Taliban - notably Mullah Omar - but all share the same broad goal of Islamic Shariah rule for Pakistan, and the expulsion of US forces from the region. An estimated 1.23 million people remain displaced as a result of the fighting between militants and the Pakistani army in the tribal territories that border Afghanistan. With the militarys focus shifting to flood relief, there is concern of a resurgence in violence. IRIN provides a Whos Who? guide to Pakistans main militant groups: Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan Area of operations: Traditionally, the Mehsud group of the TTP, which operates from bases in the tribal territory of South Waziristan; has spearheaded militant operations across the north. This changed after the death of leader Baitullah Mehsud in a US drone strike in August 2009. The TTP has since splintered, with new leader Hakimullah Mehsud operating mainly from his native Orakzai Agency. Other Taliban factions are based in the Khyber Agency and, according to media reports, in southern Punjab. Targets: Pakistani military personnel and civilians - typically suicide bombings of markets. Support base: The Mehsud tribe and other tribes loyal to it assisted by foreign militants. Mullah Nazir Group Area of operations: South Waziristan Targets: The Pakistani military and civilians, as well as US forces in Afghanistan. Base of support: The Wazir tribe near the town of Wana. The group maintains good relations with the Haqqani Network (see below) and has ties to Mullah Omar. Turkistan Bhittani Group Area of operations: South Waziristan Targets: Mainly engaged in a battle with the TTP after splitting from its former ally Baitullah Mehsud in 2007. It is believed to have occasionally targeted US forces in Afghanistan but not Pakistani military personnel or civilians. Base of support: The Bhittani tribe is the main source of support for leader Turkistan Bhittani. There have been suggestions the group may be backed by Pakistani forces against the TTP. Haqqani Network Area of operations: North Waziristan Targets: Almost exclusively US forces in Afghanistan. Base of support: The Zadran tribe in Afghanistans Khost Province. Widely respected as powerful Mujahedin by tribes across the north since the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by Soviet forces. Support from al-Qaeda and foreign militants; has ties with Mullah Omar, but plans strategy independently. Gul Bahadur Group Area of operations: North Waziristan Targets: Pakistani forces in North Waziristan and US troops in Afghanistan Base of support: The Wazir and Daur tribes in North Waziristan, especially near the town of Miram Shah. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (North) Area of operations: All tribal territories, but especially Kurram and Orakzai where there is a Shia population - a minority Muslim sect. Targets: Pakistani civilians, especially Shias, and military personnel. Attacks on Western nationals in Pakistan. Base of support: Mainly anti-Shia militant groups from Punjab. Lashkar-e-Islam Area of operations: Khyber Agency Targets: Pakistani civilians Base of support: The hard-line Deobandi Muslim sect; locked in a battle against militant rivals for control in Khyber. Ansar-ul-Islam Area of operations: Khyber Agency Targets: US forces in Afghanistan Base of support: The Deobandi and Barelvi sects - especially less hard-line factions. Engaged in battles in Khyber with rival militants. Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Mohammadi Area of operations: Swat Valley, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province; attempts to assert influence in Dir. Targets: Pakistani civilians - especially government figures, including teachers - and military personnel. Social roots and base of support: Disillusioned members of Pakistani religious and political parties. The group was set up in 1992. Its involvement in more widespread militancy began after 2002, when key leaders were imprisoned after participating in `jihad in Afghanistan. It has split into various factions since then. Groups in Punjab The southern Punjab is a poverty-stricken, orthodox region - much like the north - but the rise of militant groups has followed a slightly different trajectory. Fierce anti-Shia sectarianism, and 'jihad aimed at Indian-administered Kashmir, is high on the agenda of these groups. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (Punjab) Area of operations: Countrywide Targets: Shia Muslims, non-Muslims, foreign nationals, state security forces Base of support: Sectarian groups in Punjab. It first emerged in the Punjab in the 1990s. Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan Area if operations: Countrywide with a concentration in the Punjab Targets: Non-Muslims and the Shia minority Base of support: Other sectarian groups and hard-line Muslim factions. Jaish-e-Mohammad Area of operations: Mainly Indian-held Kashmir and Afghanistan; some role in fighting in north. Headquartered in the southern Punjab Targets: Indian forces, Western nationals, non-Muslim Pakistanis Base of support: Backing from hard-line Muslim factions involved in violence in northwest Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan. Lashkar-e-Taiba Area of operations: Based in Punjab. Operates in Indian-held Kashmir and possibly Afghanistan Targets: Mainly Indian targets Base of support: Pro-`jihad and hard-line Muslim groups. Allegations of links to Pakistani intelligence agencies by media. Heavily involved in post-flood relief work and other charitable work.