Conflicts & War

Pakistani Taliban claim killing 2 police officers after ending ceasefire

Islamabad, Dec 11 (EFE).- The Pakistani arm of the Taliban on Saturday claimed the killing of two police officers who were providing security to a polio vaccination team in northwestern Pakistan, although the authorities have confirmed only one death, two days after the insurgent group pulled out of a month-long ceasefire with the government.

“Today, the mujahideen (fighters) of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan shot dead two policemen in the Chadrar area,” situated in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, the group’s spokesperson Muhammed Khurasani said in a statement.

Khurasani confirmed to EFE that this was TTP’s first attack since it announced an end to the ceasefire.

The police also confirmed that the incident took place on Saturday evening, a day after a five-day vaccination campaign against polio was launched, although putting the death toll at 1.

On Nov. 8, a one-month ceasefire agreement between Islamabad and TTP – mediated by the Afghan Taliban – had come into effect, with the possibility of extension if both sides reached a long-term pact.

However, on Thursday the Pakistani Taliban announced an end to the truce, alleging that the government had failed to fulfill its commitments, including the release of over 100 prisoners.

On Friday, TTP chief Mufti Noor Wali Mahsud urged his fighters to resume attacks.

Insurgency-related violence has reduced considerably in Pakistan since the military launched an operation in the northwestern tribal regions in June 2014 and later extended it to the rest of the country, causing significant damage to the TTP.

However, in recent months the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban seizing Kabul has led to the TTP intensifying its activities, especially in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

According to data released by Pakistan Institute of Peace Studies, the TTP carried out 95 attacks in the past one year, in which 140 people were killed.

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