Thursday, June 13, 2024

Taliban threaten to avenge Kasab death in a month


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ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani Taliban faction has claimed that its fighters were holed up in Amritsar and Hyderabad to carry out attacks to avenge 26/11 convict Ajmal Kasab’s execution last week.

“We will avenge the death of Ajmal Kasab on Indian soil within a month,” Ahmed Marwat, a spokesman for Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s Jundullah group told the TOI from an undisclosed location on Wednesday.

“His death will not go waste. (Our) group has a number of fighters in Amritsar and Hyderabad Deccan, who will soon take revenge of Ajmal Kasab. With the death of one Kasab, scores of his other comrades are ready for martyrdom.”

Marwat spoke in what seemed like Pashto language’s tribal accent spoken in Pakistan’s tribal northwest bordering Afghanistan.

The region has long been an al-Qaida and Taliban safe haven. The fresh threat comes days after another Taliban faction threatened to avenge Kasab’s hanging by “striking Indian targets anywhere”.

The Pakistani state and minority Muslim sects — Shiias and Sufis — have so far been the group’s prime targets. Thousands of people have been killed since it launched a wave of destabilizing attacks on the country’s armed forces, spy agencies, market places and mosques beginning 2009.

The group had taken responsibility for the failed Times Square car bombing attempt in 2010, but retracted days later. Experts doubt its ability to strike overseas, saying the group lacks the sophistication to do so.

Jundullah has been closely tied to Qaida and responsible for sectarian bloodbath across Pakistan. It has claimed responsibility for most of attacks on Shias across Pakistan in the last two years. The group was blamed for September attacks on Karachi’s Dawoodi Bohra community that killed 11 people.

Earlier in February, Jundullah massacred 18 Shias from Gilgit-Baltistan after pulling them out of a bus near Rawalpindi. The slain were on their way from Kohistan.

Marwat had then claimed responsibility for the attack while claiming to be the group’s Karachi-based commander. Media reports say the group has entrenched itself in Karachi.

“Among the most feared militant groups is Jundullah’s Karachi chapter, led by Fasihur Rehman, which is responsible for most of the sectarian attacks in the city,” said Umar Khitab, a Karachi-based cop.

Sources said Jundullah chief Hamja Jofi alias Haji Mumtaz founded the group in 2003 in Waziristan. (Agencies)


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