Pakistan says it foiled Islamic State expansion into country

By REUTERS
September 1, 2016 16:53

Pakistan's military on Thursday said it has crushed Islamic State's attempt to expand there, dismissing as propaganda claims by the Middle East-based Islamist militants that they had carried out a major bombing last month.

The comments were, however, a rare acknowledgment by a senior Pakistani official that Islamic State, mainly based in Syria and Iraq, has had any active presence in a country that is home to myriad militant groups including the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban, al Qaeda and the Haqqani network.

Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa, the military's top spokesman, also rejected US complaints that it was not acting against the Haqqani network, suspected of carrying out suicide bomb attacks in Kabul, saying Pakistan was pursuing an "indiscriminate operation" against all militants.

Pakistani authorities have so far arrested 309 people associated with ISIS on its territory, he said. They were involved in attacks on media and security personnel, and were planning attacks on government, diplomatic and civilian targets, he added.

"They tried to make an ingress, and they failed and they have been apprehended so far," Bajwa said.


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