Factbox: Who are the Pakistan Taliban?

KARACHI: Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants stormed a police station in Karachi late on Friday, killing at least two people amid gunfire and explosions, officials said.

Here are some details about the group:

* TTP was formed in 2007 as an umbrella organisation of various hardline Sunni Islamist groups operating individually in Pakistan.

* TTP, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, pledges allegiance to, and gets its name from, the Afghan Taliban, but is not directly a part of the group that now rules neighbouring Afghanistan. Its stated aim is to impose religious law in Pakistan, as the Taliban have done in Afghanistan.

* TTP was previously headquartered in erstwhile tribal areas, that were long a hotbed for militant groups, including al-Qaeda, whose members fled Afghanistan after the US-led invasion in 2001.

* The TTP is responsible for some of the bloodiest attacks in Pakistan, including on churches, schools and the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, who survived the 2012 attack after she was targeted for her campaign against the Taliban’s efforts to deny women education.

* The security forces were able to effectively dismantle the TTP and kill most of its top leadership in a string of military operations from 2014 onwards in the tribal areas, driving most of the fighters into Afghanistan, where they regrouped.

* They have been buoyed by the victory of the Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan over the US-backed government after Western forces exited the country in 2021.

* There was an attempt by Pakistan to hold peace talks with the TTP, resulting in a months-long ceasefire and negotiations brokered by the Afghan Taliban. The plan fell through, and a regrouped TTP restarted attacks in Pakistani late last year.

* Pakistan says the TTP leadership has safe havens in Afghanistan, but the Afghan Taliban administration denies this. The rise in TTP attacks has increased tensions between Islamabad and the Taliban administration.

* TTP attacks are mostly directed at Pakistan, unlike the other big militant threat in the region, Islamic State.

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