Pakistani Taliban patrol in then their stronghold of Shawal in Pakistani tribal region of South Waziristan/File Photo: AP
ISLAMABAD: An outlawed alliance of militant groups waging terrorism in Pakistan declared that it had ordered fighters to resume nationwide attacks, ending an already shaky “unilateral cease-fire” with the government.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), also known as the Pakistani Taliban, said the decision to unleash the violence was taken in retaliation to “sustained military operations” by the government against its fighters in several northwestern districts.
“Now it is imperative for you to carry out attacks wherever possible across the country,” the TTP ordered its fighters in a statement released to media outlets, including VOA.
The group, listed as a global terrorist organization by the United States and the United Nations, is an off-shoot and close ally of Afghanistan’s ruling Islamist Taliban.
The TTP has claimed responsibility for hundreds of suicide bombings and other attacks since its emergence in Pakistan in 2007, killing tens of thousands of civilians and security forces. Its leaders and fighters largely fled into hiding in Afghanistan after the Pakistan government ordered a major military operation, backed by air power, against the group in 2014.
The security action had significantly reduced militant violence in Pakistan in the years that followed until attacks resurged over the past year.
A senior Pakistani security official dismissed TTP assertions as “lame excuses” for calling off its truce.