Is Daesh Behind Attack on Pakistani TV Station?

Paramilitary soldiers were called in to stand guard at the ARY News offices after a blast injured several people and caused property damage in Islamabad. REUTERS/Caren Firouz

ISLAMABAD, Jan 14 – Attackers on a motorcycle lobbed grenades and opened fire at a Pakistani television station on Wednesday, wounding one person, and left behind pamphlets linked to Daesh, the station said.

The attack on the ARY News Islamabad office was the second such assault on media premises in as many months by the militant group claiming a connection with Daesh’s self-declared province of Khorasan in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Security guards chased away the drive-by attackers, it said, and an editor hit by shrapnel in the head was hospitalized.

The pamphlets left behind said “Islamic State Khorasan Province” claimed responsibility for attacking media that it accused of “siding with the apostate army and government of Pakistan in their global crusade against Islam.”

Pakistan’s army is fighting a military campaign against Taliban and other militants in the country’s northwest near the Afghan border.

In the past year, several commanders of the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban have sworn allegiance to Daesh, though there is little public evidence so far of direct operational links with the Middle East-based militants’ leadership.

The extent of actual militant involvement in attacks can also be difficult to verify. Police say extortionists often use the names of feared groups to intimidate their victims.

In December, an attacker threw a hand grenade at the offices of Din News in the eastern city of Lahore, leaving behind similar leaflets at the site of the attack. Four people were injured in that incident, Pakistani media reported.

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