Ansarul Muhajideen, a jihadist group in Pakistan known to include Uzbek fighters, claimed credit for a suicide attack in the Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan today that killed two paramilitary Frontier Corps troops. The group’s spokesman said the attack was carried out to avenge the death of former Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan emir Hakeemullah Mehsud, who was killed earlier this month in a US drone strike.
The suicide bomber attacked a Frontier Corps checkpoint on the Bannu-Mir Ali Road earlier today, killing two troops and wounding seven more, Dawn reported. The paramilitary Frontier Corps are a frequent target of jihadists in the tribal areas as they are not as well armed or as well trained as regular Pakistani Army troops.
Abu Baseer, the spokesman for Ansarul Muhajideen, claimed the attack in a statement that was given to AFP. He said the group was taking revenge on Pakistani forces for permitting the US to conduct the Nov. 1 drone strike in Miramshah, North Waziristan, that killed Hakeemullah.
Ansarul Muhajideen has claimed credit for three other attacks against Pakistani military forces in the past year. On Jan. 13, the group ambushed a Pakistani military convoy as it traveled on a road in the Ramzak area of North Waziristan. Fourteen soldiers were killed in the attack and 25 more were wounded. A spokesman claimed the attack was carried out to retaliate for Pakistani military complicity in the US drone campaign in Pakistan’s tribal areas.
Less than two weeks prior to the Ansarul Mujahideen attack, the US killed Mullah Nazir in a drone strike. Nazir was a powerful independent Taliban commander in South Waziristan who also said he was a member of al Qaeda; he was not affiliated with the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.
On July 26, Ansarul Mujahideen claimed credit for a double suicide attack in Kurram that killed 57 people and wounded 167 more. Abu Baseer said the group would “plan more similar attacks against the Shi’ite community in Pakistan to seek revenge for the brutalities of Shi’ites against Sunni Muslims in Syria and Iraq.”
And on Sept. 1, the jihadist group killed nine Frontier Corps troops and wounded 20 more in an IED attack on a convoy that was traveling from the Data Khel area, a known al Qaeda haven in North Waziristan, to Miramshah, a Haqqani Network stronghold. Abu Baseer said the attack was conducted to avenge a drone strike that killed four members of the Turkistan Islamic Party, a terror group that is allied with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and a host of other jihadist organizations based in the area.