Jihadi “jousting”? Confusion over claim of responsibility for suicide attack on security convoy Quetta?

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Aftermath of an explosion that targeted a security convoy in Quetta on February 6, 2016. (Image AFP)

Earlier today Pakistan Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) contacted media via the usual channels following an explosion which targeted a vehicle belonging to security forces in Pakistan. Umar Media stated, “TTP accept the responsibility for attack on FC convoy at Quetta.” There was a second initial claim of responsibility allegedly from Islamic State (IS) on a social media site linked to the group but this disappeared after several hours. Neither claim could be independently verified. Dawn media initially reported,

“at least eight people, including two Frontier Corps (FC) personnel, were killed and at least 35 others were wounded in the powerful explosion.”

See following link for full story,

http://www.dawn.com/news/1237816/eight-killed-35-injured-as-suicide-attack-targets-security-forces-vehicle-in-quetta

Latest figures are that the death toll has reached 12 as follows,

(via Zain, Reporter, CNBC Pakistan, Quetta)

Injured Fc Sldr, Sep Inayat Ullah and Civilian Shahid died in CMH.

3x FC Sldrs 1- M. Asif 2- M.Hashim, 3- Inayatllah 4- A.Hakeem (FC Civilian Driver)

Civilian 5- Samreen 6- Sanullah 7- Liaqat Ali 8- Hizbullah 9- SherZaman 10- Ahsanullah 11- Ramzan 12- Shahid

Khalid Khan who describes himself as Cyber Journalist, working with Pakistan’s Largest Media Group and a Disaster Relief Activist posted a series of graphic images, showing soldiers injured and in shock lying on the ground along with bodies of the deceased. He stated, that the dead included “FC personnel, women and children injured in Quetta blast (Balochistan)” adding “unable to share pics: 3 children among 9 confirmed dead in Quetta blast, 3 vehicles destroyed, over 30 injured.” 

Riz Khan tweeted,

Just escaped a bomb blast in Quetta Thanks God  

Khalid Khan posted the following,

GRAPHIC PICS, VIEWERS DISCRETION ADVISED: Quetta blast pics , 9 confirmed dead, nearly 30 injured

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Pics of security personnel injured in Quetta blast, 10 confirmed dead, nearly 40 including a dozen FC personnel inj

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GRAPHIC, but needed to post to let all know: Suicide Bomber that killed 10 ppl, including woman & children in Quetta

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RT video of bomb blast aftermath 

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TTP claim of responsibility via Umar Media

TTP claimed responsibility for the blast. Another claim was made on a site linked to Islamic State (IS) but did not appear in the usual format associated with Wilayat Khorasan as IS is known in Afghanistan/Pakistan. The statement allegedly from IS read, “the Islamic State Ansar brothers of Quetta accepted responsibility of attack in Quetta on FC Forces, still group is not still fully affiliated with The Islamic state, so wait for few hours after we will confirm it more, because TTP also claimed this responsibility, well the attack has been done Alhamdulillah.” However after a few hours the post appeared to have been deleted altogether.

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All that could be seen of alleged IS claim was a thumbnail image

Sign reads, “this post has been removed or could not be loaded”

What was unclear was whether it was a mistake, whether further clarification is needed or whether the forum had been hacked and misinformation written in an attempt to confuse users. Many “jihadi” accounts have disappeared over recent days and porn posted in some groups by “infiltrators”. It would seem there are also efforts to mislead those reporting on insurgency. This appears to be an organized front as opposed to a few individuals.

TTP have also been contacted to clarify whether they have links to IS as one person alleged on the disappeared link. Muhammad Khorasani clarified stating, “we haven’t joined them and as for as the Quetta attack is concerned that is done by TTP’s special group TSG.”

Tweets on the blast

Farman Kakar

Quetta‘s blast underscores the inevitable: there are only bad Taliban; yes from the day first!

Arshadzero

Away from the colors of cricket, Quetta is colored red with a blast today. we seem not to care much though. 😦

Majid Agha (Analyst and researcher)

Inferior Minister Ch. Nisar again hides in his ‘rat hole’ after blast.

Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.

 

About Carol Anne Grayson

Blogging for Humanity.... Campaigner/researcher global health/human rights/drones/WOT/insurgency http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/PO/experts/Health_and_Wellbeing.aspx Exec Producer of Oscar nominated documentary Incident in New Baghdad, currently filming on drones.
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