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Pakistan Taliban Declares End To Cease-Fire With Government

A video grab showing members of the Tehrik-e Taliban in 2014.
A video grab showing members of the Tehrik-e Taliban in 2014.

The Pakistani Taliban, a militant group fighting a guerrilla war in the northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan, says it will not extend a cease-fire agreed to last month, accusing Islamabad of failing to respect terms of the truce deal.

The group, also known as Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), said in a statement on December 9 that the government had not released more than 100 prisoners as planned, and accused security forces of carrying out operations against the militants while the cease-fire was in force.

“It is not possible to carry on with the cease-fire in these circumstances,” it said.

There was no immediate comment from Pakistani officials.

The cease-fire went into effect on November 9 and was meant to give time for the two sides to reach a possible agreement to end 14 years of conflict.

The truce expires at midnight.

Over the past 15 years, Pakistan has signed three peace deals with the Pakistani Taliban, but none of them have lasted beyond a few months.

Pakistan conducted a massive military operation against the TTP across the northwestern regions in June 2014, forcing the group's militants and leadership to take refuge across the border in Afghanistan.

However, the TTP has gradually staged a comeback in the mountainous, tribal regions since late 2019 and considerably increased the frequency of their attacks this year.

The TTP is a separate militant group from the Afghan Taliban, which toppled the Western-backed government in Kabul in mid-August. But Pakistan's militant groups are often interlinked with those across the border in Afghanistan and the TTP follows the same hard-line Sunni Islam as its Afghan counterparts.

With reporting by AP and Reuters

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