Islamic State, Pakistani Taliban claim killing of police officer

October 24, 2016 6:53 AM EDT

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By Saud Mehsud

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters and the Pakistani Taliban on Monday said they killed a police official in northwest Pakistan, the second attack in the south Asian nation claimed by the Middle East-based militant group in just over a month.

The killings follow an announcement by the military last month that it had stemmed Islamic State's attempts to expand in Pakistan, after arresting more than 300 people suspected of plotting attacks on government, diplomatic and civilian targets.

Akbar Ali, a member of the Special Branch, or police intelligence wing in Charsadda, about 20 km (12 miles) from the provincial capital of Peshawar, was shot and killed at a bus stop, said the district police chief, Sohail Khalid.

"Two unknown motorcycle riders opened fire on police sub inspector Akbar Ali, and he died on the spot," Khalid added.

Islamic State claimed the attack in an online post by its Middle East-based news agency, Amaq.

"Assassination of a member in Pakistani intelligence in Sardaryab in Peshawar, northern Pakistan, by fighters from Islamic State," it said.

The Pakistani Taliban also claimed responsibility for the killing, said its spokesman Muhammad Khurasani.

"We accept responsibility for killing the Special Branch sub inspector in Charsadda," he said in a statement.

A similar attack on Sept. 18 saw three Pakistani military employees killed in an ambush in Peshawar for which both Islamic State and a Pakistani Taliban faction claimed responsibility.

Authorities last week arrested two men accused of spreading Islamic State propaganda in Peshawar, with police officials saying its members were still active in some parts of the provincial capital.

There are fears that some Pakistani Sunni militants - whether members of the Pakistani Taliban, al-Qaeda, or homegrown sectarian outfits - could be drawn to Islamic State, as has happened in neighboring Afghanistan.

(Writing by Asad Hashim)



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