Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan claims responsibility for rare attack in Punjab province. Who are they?
Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP) claims responsibility for the attack on the Pakistan air force training base. The TJP is an affiliate of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) movement.
Pakistan woke up to the news of its army killing nine militants who attacked an air force training base on Saturday. “All nine terrorists have been sent to hell”, the military said in a statement, adding that its operation had concluded.
Three men were killed before they entered the base, and three other attackers had been “cornered/isolated”, the military said earlier.
The attack on the Pakistan air force training base was later claimed by Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP).
The Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), a newly emerged militant group that is an affiliate of the home-grown Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) movement, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to media.
Analysts say militant groups have become emboldened by the return to power of the Taliban in neighbouring Afghanistan in 2021.
Pakistan regularly accuses its neighbour of harbouring militants who plan and launch attacks from Afghan soil, a charge the Taliban government denies.
Attacks in Punjab province, however, are rare.
The TTP movement shares a common hardline Islamist ideology with their Afghan counterparts.
They have largely focused on targeting security forces, with civilians sometimes caught up in the violence.
Reuters reports, Tehreek-e-Jihad Pakistan came to the fore only this year and little is known about the group, which has carried out a string of high-profile attacks in the country, including killing 12 soldiers at a Pakistani military base in the southwestern province of Balochistan in July.
The latest attack comes after 14 troops were killed when their convoy came under assault in Balochistan province and six civilians died when a police van was targeted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, both on Friday.
Balochistan is home to a decades-long insurgency by ethnic Baloch guerrillas fighting the government over accusations of exploiting the province’s rich gas and mineral resources.