ISLAMABAD: A new hardline breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban Tuesday claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on police in Pakistan´s restive northwest that killed one official.
Jamat ul Ahrar recently disassociated itself from the leadership of Maulana Fazlullah, pledging loyalty to brash young commander Omar Khalid Khorasani.
"We claim responsibility for the attack and want to make it clear that we would continue attacks in the future", Ehsan Ullah Ehsan, the group´s spokesman said in an emailed message to the media. He said one militant was killed in the fighting while another returned safely to a secure location.
Pakistan´s military is in the middle of a major ground offensive in the nearby North Waziristan tribal district, a major bastion for militant groups including the Taliban and Al-Qaeda affiliates.
The army says it has killed more than a thousand militants and lost 86 soldiers since the start of the operation, though the numbers cannot be independently verified as journalists do not have regular access to the fighting zone.