Pakistan Taliban claim suicide blast killing three
QUETTA, Pakistan, Nov 30, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Three people were killed and 23
injured Wednesday when a suicide bomber targeted a police truck in western
Pakistan, an attack claimed by the domestic chapter of the Taliban.
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), separate from the Afghan Taliban but
sharing a common hardline Islamist ideology, earlier this week called off a
shaky months-long ceasefire agreed with Islamabad and ordered its fighters to
resume attacks across the nation.
Senior police official Azhar Mehesar told AFP that Wednesday's blast targeted
a security force preparing to escort polio vaccinators in the city of Quetta,
and those killed "include a policeman, a woman and a child".
In a statement, the TTP said a "holy warrior" detonated a car bomb near a
customs post to avenge the killing of founding member Umar Khalid Khurasani
during the truce.
"Our revenge operations will continue," the statement added.
The TTP was founded in 2007 by Pakistani jihadists who fought alongside the
Taliban in Afghanistan in the 1990s before opposing Islamabad's support for
the US-led intervention there after 9/11.
For a time they held vast tracts of Pakistan's rugged tribal belt, imposing a
radical interpretation of Islamic law and patrolling territory just 140
kilometres (85 miles) from the Pakistan capital.
- School attack -
The Pakistani military came down hard after 2014 when TTP militants raided a
school for children of army personnel and killed nearly 150 people, most of
Its fighters were largely routed into neighbouring Afghanistan, but Islamabad
claims the Taliban in Kabul are now giving the TTP a foothold to stage
assaults across the border.
In the year since the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan, Pakistan has
seen a 50 percent surge in militant attacks, according to the Pak Institute
for Peace Studies (PIPS).
Most of these attacks have been focused in the western provinces of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, which neighbour Afghanistan.
The 2014 school assault deeply shocked Pakistan, and since then the TTP have
vowed only to target state security forces.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only nations in the world where polio is
There is resistance to vaccine campaigns in rural areas and among
conservative communities who falsely believe they are an effort to sterilise
Polio vaccination teams are routinely escorted by police in the western
regions, and the TTP has regularly ambushed officers in remote restive areas.
Pakistan officials on Monday launched a week-long immunisation campaign
aiming to inoculate over 13 million children living in "high-risk districts".
In April, Pakistan reported its first case of polio in 15 months. Since then
20 cases have been reported, according to the government-funded End Polio