Pakistan, which is fomenting terror in India and Afghanistan, is getting a taste of its own medicine with killings unleashed in its backyard by Islamists.
In one of the latest attacks, three Pakistani soldiers were killed near Peshawar on Sunday, in an ambush claimed by Islamic State (IS) and Pakistani Taliban. Military sources confirmed the attack, but said those killed were army employees and not soldiers.
Pakistan’s military earlier claimed that it had foiled Islamic State’s attempts to set up operations in the country. But the group’s Amaq news agency said IS was behind the ambush, also claimed by Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, an offshoot of Pakistani Taliban.
The two groups also said they were behind a suicide bombing at a hospital in Quetta that killed 74 people last month, in a sign of growing IS influence in Pakistan.
Concerns have been growing that Islamic State - which controls parts of Iraq and Syria - might replicate their model in Pakistan, especially after IS loyalists seized small pieces of territory in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Pakistan is home to several militant groups including the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, Al Qaeda and the Haqqani network, giving IS both a rich pool of potential recruits but also fierce competition.
IS last year declared Afghanistan and Pakistan as the state of “Khorasan”, part of its self-declared global caliphate, and appointed longtime militant Hafiz Saeed Khan as its regional leader. Hafiz Saeed Khan was later killed in a US drone strike.
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