Pak­istan ar­rests two for spread­ing IS pro­pa­ganda

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

PE­SHAWAR: Po­lice ar­rested two men sus­pected of dis­tribut­ing pam­phlets for Is­lamic State (IS) fol­low­ing a raid in the north­west­ern city of Pe­shawar, of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day, amid lin­ger­ing fears that the Mid­dle East mil­i­tant group was making inroads in Pak­istan. Last month, the mil­i­tary said that it had stemmed Is­lamic State’s at­tempts to ex­pand in the coun­try, hav­ing ar­rested more than 300 peo­ple sus­pected of plot­ting at­tacks against govern­ment, diplo­matic and civil­ian tar­gets.

Fol­low­ing Tues­day’s raid, how­ever, po­lice in the cap­i­tal of Khy­ber Pakhtunkhwa prov­ince said mil­i­tants were op­er­at­ing in parts of Pe­shawar, in­clud­ing some from Is­lamic State. “Some of ar­eas in the provin­cial cap­i­tal in­clud­ing Tehskal, Palo­sai, Charsadda Road and Regi are known for ac­tiv­i­ties of mil­i­tant groups such as IS,” po­lice of­fi­cial Ish­tiaq Ahmed told Reuters. An­other po­lice of­fi­cial, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity as he was not au­tho­rized to speak to the me­dia, said two other sus­pects man­aged to es­cape dur­ing the raid.

There are fears that some of Pak­istan’s home-grown Sunni mil­i­tants could be drawn to Is­lamic State, as al­ready seen in neigh­bor­ing Afghanistan. Pak­istan has long suf­fered from sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence, with Sunni mil­i­tants tar­get­ing the coun­try’s mi­nor­ity Shi­ites, as well as non-Mus­lim re­li­gious mi­nori­ties. In Au­gust, the of­fi­cial Is­lamic State news ser­vice claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for a sui­cide bomb­ing at a hospi­tal in the south­west­ern Pak­istani city of Quetta that killed 74 peo­ple. The at­tack, how­ever, was also claimed by a break­away fac­tion of the Pak­istani Tale­ban, Ja­maat-ur-Ahrar, which at one time had de­clared sup­port for Is­lamic State’s Mid­dle East lead­er­ship, but later switched back to the Tale­ban. — Reuters

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