Pakistani insurgents join Afghan group

Jan. 3, 2012 at 5:52 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Four major Pakistani insurgent groups have joined the Afghan Haqqani network in a council that means to resolve infighting and violence against civilians.

The council -- which was formed with the consultation of the Afghan Taliban -- announced its formation by means of a pamphlet distributed recently in North Waziristan. In the pamphlet, the Shura-i-Muraqba warned "all holy warriors" against criminal activities, or else be punished by Islamic law.

The alliance could bode ill for U.S.-led troops that are currently withdrawing from Afghanistan. One militant member of a group led by Maulvi Nazir told The Washington Post the factions had agreed to direct attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan. However, Ensuallah Ehsan, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, denies the pledge.

NATO has called the Haqqani network its most lethal foe in Afghanistan. While Pakistani groups already target NATO forces, security analysts doubt the union will have a major impact because various militant factions that attack within Pakistan are not included.

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