An official reported that a suicide bomber in western Pakistan struck a police truck on Wednesday, resulting in three fatalities and 23 injuries. The local Taliban chapter claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Taliban are distinct from the Taliban in Afghanistan, but they both adhere to a hard-line Islamist doctrine.
The group ordered the resumption of all assaults on Monday after declaring an end to a tenuous cease-fire with Islamabad over the summer.
Senior police official Azhar Mehesar told AFP that the Quetta, Pakistan, blast was intended to kill “a policeman, a woman, and a child” and that the police team was getting ready to escort polio vaccine providers.
The TTP claimed responsibility for the attack and promised to provide more information shortly in a statement to AFP.
The organization was established in 2007 by Pakistani jihadists who had previously fought alongside the Taliban in Afghanistan before criticizing Islamabad for its support of American intervention there following the 9/11 attacks.
They controlled large areas of Pakistan’s arid tribal belt for a time, enforcing a strict interpretation of Islamic law and patrolling territory only 140 km (85 miles) from the country’s capital.
After TTP militants raided a school for children of army personnel in 2014 and killed close to 150 people, the majority of them students, the Pakistani military retaliated strongly.
Although the majority of its fighters were diverted into the neighboring country of Afghanistan, Islamabad asserts that the Taliban in Kabul are now giving the TTP a footing to launch attacks over the border.
According to the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, militant assaults in Pakistan have increased by 50% in the year since the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan (PIPS).
The majority of these assaults have been concentrated in the Afghan neighboring western regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan.
Pakistan was greatly shaken by the 2014 school attack, and the TTP has since sworn to solely attack state security forces.
The only places in the world where wild polio is still prevalent are Afghanistan and Pakistan.
In the western districts, polio vaccination teams are frequently escorted by police, and the TTP has developed a habit of ambushing officers when they enter those unrest-ridden remote areas.
A week-long vaccination drive was started by Pakistani officials on Monday with the goal of immunizing nearly 13 million kids who reside in “high-risk zones.”
Pakistan announced its first case of polio in 15 months in April. According to the government-funded End Polio Pakistan program, 20 cases have since been reported.