Taliban commander Habib among four militants killed in drone strike near Pak-Afghan border
Former Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants who have pledged allegiance to Islamic State said on Sunday they had attacked a paramilitary checkpoint along the Afghan border, in the first such assault claimed by a former faction of the TTP in several months.
A militant affiliated with the faction told Reuters the group attacked Damadola district of the Bajaur tribal area, where the military has been battling a militant insurgency since 2007, late on Saturday.
“Our men destroyed the post, set it on fire and left it after our operation was complete,” he said by telephone.
Two Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed a checkpoint had been attacked, but there were no casualties.
The Pakistani government says that Islamic State, a group founded in Syria and Iraq in 2013, does not have a credible presence in the country.
Several smaller militant groups and factions of the Pakistani Taliban have, however, pledged allegiance to Islamic State and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi since last year.
So far, Islamic State has not formally accepted any of those pledges, nor has its central leadership claimed responsibility for any attacks carried out in Pakistan.
Moreover, at least four Taliban workers including commander Habib were killed in a drone strike in Lalpura area of Khyber Agency near Pak-Afghan border her on Sunday.
The attack targeted a double cabin car and killed key Taliban commander Habib and his three accomplices. The deceased suspects were from Imarat Islami Afghan Taliban.