Asia PacificTerrorism

Pakistani Police Officer, Two Militants Killed in Islamabad Clash

A police officer has been killed and two others injured in a rare shootout in Pakistan’s capital, officials said Tuesday.

The Monday night gun battle started when two gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on a police checkpoint in Islamabad.

“A policeman was martyred while two others were wounded,” the police said in a statement, adding both attackers were killed.

Pakistan’s interior minister has ordered an inquiry into the incident, a rare security breach in the heavily guarded capital, which is home to dozens of embassies.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Pakistan is battling a resurgence of its home-grown Taliban following the group’s return to power in Afghanistan last year.

Shahid Zaman, a senior Islamabad Police official, told AFP the incident was “an act of terrorism.”

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a separate movement that shares common roots with the Afghan group.

Pakistan’s government announced late last year it had entered a month-long truce with the TTP, facilitated by Afghanistan’s Taliban, but that expired on December 9 after peace talks failed to make progress.

The TTP has been blamed for hundreds of suicide bomb attacks and kidnappings across the country, and for a while held sway over vast tracts of the country’s rugged tribal belt, imposing a radical version of Islamic law.

But after the 2014 massacre of nearly 150 children at a Peshawar school, the Pakistan military sent huge numbers of troops into TTP strongholds and crushed the movement, forcing its fighters to retreat to Afghanistan.

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