ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The United States has declared one senior official of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) as “terrorists” after the group carried a suicide bombing in Quetta, Pakistan.
The attack came days after TTP (also known as Pakistani Taliban) announced the group will no longer abide by a month-long ceasefire with the government, urging fighters to resume attacks in retaliation towards a continuous military campaigns.
The US government has also declared three members of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) as terrorists, according to a statement by the US Department of State.
The statement on Thursday named the “emir” of AQIS Osama Mehmood, deputy emir Atif Yahya Ghouri, and Muhammad Maruf, who looks after recruitment for the armed group, on its “Specially Designated Global Terrorists” list.
Qari Amjad, the deputy chief of the TTP, also commonly called the Pakistani Taliban, was also listed on the statement. Amjad oversees operations in Pakistan’s northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
“All property and interests of those designated … that are subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and all US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with them,” the statement wrote.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US is “committed to using its full set of counterterrorism tools” to eliminate the threat posed by armed groups operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The decision, Blinken said, shows “our relentless efforts to ensure that terrorists do not use Afghanistan as a platform for international terrorism”, as Aljazeera wrote.
“We will continue to use all relevant tools to uphold our commitment to see to it that international terrorists are not able to operate with impunity in Afghanistan,” he added.
- Pakistani Taliban Carry Suicide Bombing Days After Announcement
- Pakistani Taliban Ends Ceasefire with Gov’t
- General Bajwa Retires as Pakistan Army Chief after Six-Year Tenure
The decision came days after the Pakistani Taliban announced they no longer abide by a month-long ceasefire with the government, urging fighters to resume attacks in retaliation towards a continuous military campaigns.
Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told Reuters in a text message that its leadership had decided to end the ceasefire with Pakistan, as India Express reported.
The group claimed responsibility for Wednesday attack that targeted a police truck in Quetta, Pakistan, killing at least three people and further 23 injured.
Senior police official Azhar Mehesar told AFP the blast targeted a police team preparing to escort polio vaccinators in the city of Quetta, where at least a policeman, a woman and a child were killed.
Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) – commonly known as the Pakistani Taliban – is an umbrella organization of various Islamist armed militant groups operating along the Afghan–Pakistani border.
Formed in 2007 by Baitullah Mehsud, its current leader is Noor Wali Mehsud, who has publicly pledged allegiance to the Afghan Taliban (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan).