Three militant factions, including splinter groups of the Taliban....
Three militant factions, including splinter groups of the Taliban, have separately claimed responsibility for the suicide attack that took place after the popular flag-lowering ceremony at Wagah in Pakistan.
At least 61 people, including 10 women, eight children and three security personnel, have died in the attack that took place yesterday when a
suicide attacker detonated a powerful bomb at Wagah.
Al-Qaeda affiliated militant group Jundullah (Soldiers of Allah), a splinter group of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was the first to claim the attack.
Shortly afterwards Jamaat-ul-Ahrar said its bomber Hafiz Hanifullah carried out the attack. Later, a lesser-known Mahar Mehsud group also claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar on its Twitter page said the attack was a warning to both Pakistan and India and that such an assault could also happen across the border. It refuted claims of other groups owning the attack.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar also criticised Jundullah as a “fake” Iranian group.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar recently separated from the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) after the army launched an operation in North Waziristan in mid-June.
Led by Omer Khalid Khurasani, it is believed to be capable of lethal attacks.
Jundullah was also part of TTP until last year when slain Hakimullah Mehsud led the militants.
It is a dangerous group and had been involved in several high profile attacks, including the attack on Crops Commander of Karachi in 2004, murder of 10 climbers in Gilgit-Baltisitan in 2013 and Peshawar Church bombing of last year.
This group also claimed responsibility of last month’s attack at Maulana Fazlur Rehman who survived the suicide bombing.
The Mahar Mehsud group is unknown and may have been prompted to claim responsibility to hit the headlines, analysts said.
The conflicting claims show the ongoing war among various militant outfits trying to replace the TTP which has been weakened by military operations and defections.
Last month, six important Taliban commanders joined the Middle Eastern group Islamic State (IS).
Wagah border bombing was the first major attack in about six months and comes as a wakeup call for authorities which claimed that the Taliban have been weakened after the North Waziristan operation and their command and control system has been demolished.
The attack shows that the threat of militants is far from over and that they still have the most lethal weapon of suicide bombers in their armoury, analysts said.