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Pakistani group behind scores of bombing announces ceasefire for Eid al-Adha

A KEY Pakistani jihadist group behind scores of gun and bomb attacks has announced a rare ceasefire with security forces during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha.

The announcement came on the eve of today’s Eid al-Adha celebrations in Pakistan and amid a surge in violence.

The ceasefire has allowed worshippers to attend Eid prayers at mosques and open areas without fear of attacks by militants.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is separate group from the Afghan Taliban but closely allied to it, said in a statement that the ceasefire announcement answered a demand from the Pakistani people.

Nonetheless, TTP said its fighters would defend themselves if acted by security forces. 

The group has been emboldened since the Afghan Taliban seized power in neighbouring Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and Nato troops pulled out after 20 years.

This is the second TTP ceasefire, the previous one having run from 2021 to 2022.

Since then, the Pakistani Taliban has stepped up attacks, straining ties between Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban’s government as Islamabad alleges that most of the TTP leaders are hiding in Afghanistan.

Pakistan also accuses the group of using Afghan soil as a base for attacks in Pakistan, a charge that both the TTP and Kabul deny.

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