Taliban behind suicide bomb attack on troops

At least two Pakistani civilians are dead and 10 others– including three Pakistani soldiers — have been injured after a suicide bomber hit a military convoy in Bannu, a garrison city in the wartorn Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Sunday.

“According to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the suicide bomber responsible for the attack was identified as an Afghan national,” Amu TV reports.

The Hafiz Gul Bahadur Group has taken credit for the attack.

According to Amu, the group “is a faction of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).”

Riding a motorcycle, the suicide bomber detonated explosives in the area of Bakka Khel.

“Pakistan has witnessed a surge in terrorism in recent months, with the TTP and other militant outfits intensifying actions against security forces. In response, the state has launched operations to curb terrorism,” according to Amu. “A report released by Pakistan’s Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) in October highlighted that security forces lost at least 386 personnel in the first nine months of 2023, marking an eight-year high.”

“Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan were identified as the primary centers of violence, contributing to nearly 94% of all fatalities and 89% of recorded attacks, encompassing incidents of terrorism and security forces operations during this period,” the outlet notes.

According to VOA, “Pakistan alleges fugitive militants have intensified their violent campaign in the country from sanctuaries in Afghanistan since the Islamist Taliban reclaimed power there two years ago.”

“Reclaimed power” after President Joe Biden’s disgraceful withdrawal from Afghanistan, that is.

In fairness to Pakistan, friends of the Taliban would be perfectly poised to launch attacks from Afghanistan, considering Biden left the terrorists with billions of dollars worth of U.S. weapons, helicopters, and other top-of-the-line gear.

“The United States is the largest single provider of humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. We are committed to supporting the people of Afghanistan, which is why Treasury is taking these additional steps to facilitate assistance,” Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo said in a statement at the time. “Unfortunately, the economy faces grave challenges, exacerbated by the country’s long dependence on foreign aid, donor and private sector flight sparked by the Taliban’s takeover, drought, structural macroeconomic issues, and the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The violence that has since plagued Pakistan “has killed more than 2,300 Pakistanis, mostly security forces. The bloodshed has strained Islamabad’s relations with the de facto Afghan government in Kabul,” VOA reports.

“Pakistani officials say around 6,000 TTP members, including senior commanders, have taken refuge and operate freely out of Afghan soil to direct cross-border terrorism, charges Taliban authorities reject.”

 

Melissa Fine

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