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Pakistani army admits Daesh terrorists’ presence in country

1 September 2016 18:40

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A senior Pakistani military official has made a rare acknowledgement of the presence of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the militancy-riddled country.

Army spokesman Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa told a press conference in the city of Rawalpindi on Thursday that Daesh terrorists had managed to make inroads into Pakistan.

Bajwa, however, stressed that Pakistani law enforcement agencies had contained the terrorist group’s activities by arresting hundreds of its members and preventing them from carrying out major attacks.

“Daesh tried to make … ingress into Pakistan, but the core of … group have now been apprehended,” the military official said.

The military spokesman noted that a total of 309 militants had been held by Pakistani security forces.

Bajwa revealed that Pakistani forces had recently foiled planned attacks by Daesh terrorists on foreign embassies and an airport in the capital, Islamabad

The spokesman acknowledged that Daesh terrorists had carried out several small-scale attacks, including the killing of human rights activist Sabeen Mahmud, in Karachi in 2015.

Daesh militants were involved in attacks on media and security personnel, and were planning attacks on government, diplomatic and civilian targets, he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Pakistani military official said Daesh terrorists were still present in the Afghan provinces of Nangarhar, Khost and Kunar, which lie along the border with Pakistan.


A Pakistani police official collects samples at the site of an attack by gunmen on a military police jeep in Karachi on December 1, 2015. ©AFP

 

In recent years, the Daesh militant group has been making inroads into Afghanistan and Pakistan. The group is also using a sophisticated social media campaign to woo local Taliban and other militants.

Residents in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern tribal regions have reported the circulation of leaflets backing Daesh terrorists in the region. Slogans in support of the group have also been seen on the walls in a number of towns.

Last year, the Pakistani army chief admitted that some groups in the country were attempting to prepare the ground for Daesh activities.

“There are people in Islamabad who want to show their allegiance to Daesh. So it’s a very dangerous phenomenon,” General Raheel Sharif said in an address to the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in the British capital, London, in October 2015.

The general, however, vowed that Pakistan would not allow “even a shadow” of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group into the country.

“As far as Daesh is concerned, in Pakistan, even a shadow of Daesh would not be allowed,” Sharif emphasized.

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