By Hamza Ameer
Islamabad, Oct 21 (IANS): The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) continues to carry out deadly attacks targeting security personnel and claim lives in what is being seen as a serious and concerning surge of assault, posing a major challenge to Pakistans security forces.
In a recent bomb explosion, at least six security personnel were killed in northwestern Pakistan along the Pak-Afghan border. As per details, the explosion occurred when at least three paramilitary soldiers and at least two police officers were conducting a cordon and search operation in Bajaur district. It was reported that an improvised explosive device (IED) hit the vehicle and exploded.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack so far. But the finger of suspicion is being pointed at the TTP, which has claimed the recent attacks after launching an offensive against the Pakistani security forces in 2021, especially since the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan in mid-August.
The year 2021 has seen re-emergence of the TTP, which has been carrying out targeted attacks, especially in and around the Bajaur district, a sensitive area where Pakistan Army has been fighting and dismantling TTP cells and its affiliated groups since 2007.
In 2021, the area has seen a major surge in attacks against security forces as well as civilians through IED, targeted attacks and raids by the perpetrators.
Parallel to the Bajaur district incident, a 26-year-old soldier was killed in a targeted attack on a security check-post in the Thal area in Hangu district, another troubled area located south of Bajaur district.
Separately, in Kech district of Balochistan, a soldier lost his life when unknown attackers carried out a fire raid on a security check-post.
The TTP has used Bajaur, Hangu, Balochistan and other bordering areas with Afghanistan as its strongholds and used them as free access in and out of Afghanistan.
TTP is a globally-designated terrorist organisations, whic has claimed to have killed thousands of Pakistanis since 2007.
Even though Pakistan claims that its all-out military offensive against the TTP and its affiliate groups operating inside Pakistan has not only dismantled them, but also cleansed their footprints in the country, the ongoing resurgence of attacks claimed by the TTP has certainly rang alarm bells.
Experts say that the real concern is the timing of the TTP re-emergence, as terror attacks against Pakistani security forces have intensified since the Taliban took over Afghanistan in August this year.
Pakistani security forces claim that many such terror attacks have been foiled, while intelligence-based operations are being carried out to ensure the group is rooted out completely.