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A Pakistani police officer on guard outside the Barri Imam shrine in Islamabad, following a suicide attack at a Sufi shrine in Sindh province, Feb. 17, 2017 (AP photo by B.K. Bangash).

Pakistan’s Spate of Terrorist Attacks Threatens Its Surprising Economic Progress

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

During one week in mid-February, Pakistan suffered a series of terrorist attacks in all four of its provinces: Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In all, 200 people were killed across the country in just seven days. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, or JuA—a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, formally known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP—claimed responsibility for the majority of the attacks, while the TTP and the self-proclaimed Islamic State claimed separate responsibility for others, including the Feb. 16 suicide bombing of a Sufi shrine in Sehwan that killed 90 people.

The multiple assaults perpetrated by different militants have raised concerns about the heightened presence and capabilities of terrorist groups in Pakistan. The Islamic State, JuA and TTP have all demonstrated the ability to stage attacks armed with guns or improvised explosive devices, as well as large-scale suicide bombings against both government and civilian targets. ...

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