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A leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam was killed in northwest Pakistan

AT

Kabul: According to authorities, a counterterrorism official and a senior cleric associated with a religious party were fatally shot on Tuesday in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan.

Sub-inspector Samiullah Dawar, affiliated with the provincial counterterrorism department (CTD), was gunned down in Mir Ali area of North Waziristan tribal district, as reported by District Police Officer (DPO) Rohanzeb Khan.

The incident occurred around 6 pm near his residence in Hassukhel area.

Noor Islam Nizami, a senior cleric linked with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) religious party, met a similar fate in Miran Shah area of the same district shortly after. The perpetrators, riding motorbikes, fled the scene. The deceased’s body was transported to the District Headquarters Hospital for post-mortem examination.

According to Pakistan police, investigations are underway from various angles. Although no group has claimed responsibility, suspicions point to the Pakistani Taliban or the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), given their historical presence in the region.

These targeted killings coincide with a resurgence of militant violence in the northwest and southwest regions of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, especially after the TTP terminated its ceasefire with the government in November 2022. Last month, a militant attack in the same district claimed the lives of seven Pakistani soldiers, including two army officers. Subsequently, the Pakistani military conducted airstrikes on suspected TTP hideouts in Afghanistan, resulting in fatalities. This prompted Afghan forces to retaliate against Pakistani soldiers along the border. Both Pakistan and Afghanistan have engaged in mutual accusations regarding recent militant attacks. While Islamabad attributes these attacks to TTP members operating from Afghan safe havens, Kabul denies responsibility and criticizes Islamabad’s handling of its security challenges.

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