Pakistani Taliban attack security forces, kill six in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Yesterday’s ambush was the latest in a series. Today a Taliban leader was reportedly killed. Since their "cousins" took power in Afghanistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan have increased terror attacks in Pakistan by more than 50 per cent.
Islamabad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – At least six policemen were killed when their vehicle was ambushed yesterday morning in Lakki Marwat, a town about 200 km from Peshawar, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, north-western Pakistan.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack. According to the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), this is the fourth attack of its kind in recent weeks and one of the deadliest.
Data collected by the think-tank indicate that at least 65 armed attacks were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with at least 98 people killed and 75 wounded. Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan last year, terrorist attacks in Pakistan jumped by 51 per cent.
Overnight on Tuesday, two soldiers were killed in an armed incident on the Afghan border. The Pakistani army reported that a "terrorist" who was “actively involved in terrorist activities against the security forces” was also killed.
Yesterday, in a statement, the Pakistani Taliban said that a US drone strike killed at least three of their members in the Dera Ismail Khan district, also in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
It was not possible to verify the claim from independent sources, but the day before the provincial counterterrorism team had confirmed the killing of four terrorists, while today came news that an unknown assailant killed a TTP commander in the Afghan province of Paktia.
The Pakistani Taliban are affiliated with the Taliban of Afghanistan but operate in Pakistan where they oppose to the Pakistani state and seek to impose Shari'a.
Back in May, the TTPs agreed to extend a ceasefire until the end of the month, which was renewed in June.
Thanks to the mediation of their Afghan "cousins”, Pakistani Taliban also held peace talks in Kabul with the Pakistani government.
However, peace is nigh impossible since the demands of the TTPs are unrealisable, most notably the release of all their jailed members, and the withdrawal of Pakistani security forces from the tribal areas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, PIPI director Amir Rana said that the TTPs consider their attacks against Pakistani forces as defensive in nature.
“Security forces face this issue,” he explained, “that whenever they get complaints of abductions or extortion, they carry out their operations which the TTP says is a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement, and then they retaliate.”