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November 3, 2014

Three militant groups claim responsibility for Wagah attack

Editorial

 
November 3, 2014

PESHAWAR: Three different militant groups claimed responsibility for the attack carried out on Sunday near the Wagah border with India.
The claims were made one after the other. The Jundullah group was the first to take responsibility. It was followed by the Jamaatul Ahrar, the breakaway faction of the outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). And finally, a group introducing itself as the TTP’s Mahar Mehsud faction phoned reporters to claim responsibility for the attack.
The claim made by Jundullah was hard to believe as notmuch is known about it and its spokesman, Ahmadullah Marwat. It is usually the first to claim responsibility for any bombing anywhere, but it has yet to provide evidence that it indeed had carried out the attack. There are serious doubts whether this group even exists or if it has the capacity to undertake such bombings. This Jundullah should not be confused with the original Jundullah, which was a militant group of mostly Iranian Baloch fighting against the government of Iran and operating in the border areas of Iran and Pakistan.
The claim made by Jamaatul Ahrar is more credible as this group possesses the capability to carry out suicide bombings, IED attacks and targeted killings. This was the group’s first major terrorist attack after breaking away from the TTP under the leadership of Umar Khalid Khurasani, believed to be based in Afghanistan. However, the Jamaatul Ahrar would have needed help from the Punjabi Taliban or Jihadis in the Punjab to carry out the attack in Wagah near Lahore.
The Jamaatul Ahrar spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, claimed a suicide bomber Hanifullah carried out the Wagah attack. “It was a suicide attack and the target were the Pakistani security forces protecting the Shia community,” he said.
“We learnt that a so-called militant organisation Jundullah has claimed responsibility but it’s not true. This is not the same Jundullah engaged in targeting the Shia community in Iran. This is a fake group that doesn’t even have a single suicide bomber,” the spokesman insisted.
To further strengthen his claim, the spokesman said they would soon release the video of the suicide bomber to the media.The so-called Mahar Mehsud group of the TTP was the last to claim responsibility for the attack. Commander Geelamand Mehsud phoned reporters in Kohat and elsewhere from an unknown location to make the claim. “We carried out this attack to take revenge of the assassination of late TTP head Hakimullah Mehsud in a US drone strike. It is also a revenge for the ongoing military operation in North Waziristan and the killing of our comrades jailed by the Pakistani authorities,” he stressed.