PESHAWAR: A new militant group by the name of Ansarul Mujahideen has claimed responsibility for the Parachinar attack which has left at least 57 dead and around 180 injured and says this is their first attack outside Waziristan.
Speaking to Dawn.com from an undisclosed location, a spokesman for Ansarul Mujahideen, Abu Baseer, said the group had been set up to respond to US drone strikes.
Baseer said the organisation was “very clear” about its mission, adding that “with each drone attack, we will be responding with a suicide attack…we have done it and shown it”.
He said the recent suicide attacks on Esha check post, Boya check post and Damdail check post were carried out by Ansarul Mujahideen in retaliation to US drone strikes, adding that these would continue.
Pakistan’s official position on drone attacks says these are counter productive and undermine government efforts to separate tribes from militants, violate Pakistan’s sovereignty, kill civilians and fuel anti-US sentiment.
Regarding yesterday’s twin blasts, Baseer said the attacks had been carried out in reaction to “the atrocities committed against the majority Sunni population in Iraq and Syria”, adding that the Ansarul Mujahideen would target “those who somehow support” these atrocities.
Parachinar is some 250 kilometres west of Peshawar and has a population of 50,000. In the wake of sectarian clashes in 2007, the army and paramilitary forces set up several checkpoints on roads leading to the town.
Kurram, the tribal region of which Parachinar is the main town, the only part of Pakistan's border region that has a significant Shia population, has been racked by sectarian violence.