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Friday, April 12, 2024  
03 Shawwal 1445  

Initial investigations point to IS involvement in Bajaur blast

The IS has recently targeted JUI due to its support for Taliban
Photo via Aaj News
Photo via Aaj News

Initial investigations have indicated that the outlawed Islamic State could be behind the the suicide bombing in Bajaur that killed at least 46 people and injured 200 on Sunday.

The bomb targeted a political rally by the Jamiat-e-Ulema (F), a religious party which is part of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement.

While the country, especially Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, have seen a surge in terrorist attacks in recent months, the Bajaur attack was different in one respect. Multiple terrorist outfits immediately issued statements condemning the attack including Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jammat ul Ahrar (JUA) and Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP).

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far, but a report in The Guardian quoted police to say that initial investigations were pointing towards the involvement of the IS.

The IS has recently been involved in multiple attacks against the JUI, accusing it of ‘hypocrisy’ because of its involvement in government and closeness to the military while establishing itself as a religious party.

Some have pointed out that the invovlement of IS in terror attacks is related to the rivalry the group has with the Taliban who are slowly consolidating power in Afghanistan. parties like JUI have expressed support for the Taliban.

WIlson Centre’s Michael Kugleman said that the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan has ‘sharpened this rivalry’.

Others have pointed out that the rivalry is now including retaliatory attcks based on the sects the parties in the conflict are algined with.

More than a rivalry between armed groups, the conflict might be taking a Salafi-Deobandi conflict that is leading to attacks on both sides of the border.

“The Salafists & ISKP call JUI F ‘Amaratis,’ a term used for Afghan Taliban,” Owais Tohid wrote.

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