Iran urges collective fight against terrorism, extremism

Pakistani security personnel inspect the site of a terrorist attack at a district court in Mardan on September 2, 2016. © AFP

The Iranian Foreign Ministry has denounced the latest terrorist attacks in Pakistan and stressed the importance of collective efforts in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

“Considering the unsavory events in the region, the Islamic Republic of Iran believes more than ever that cracking down on extremism and terrorism will be only possible through collective consensus and cooperation,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Saturday.

“Without confrontation, addressing the roots of extremism and countering those who are spreading violence and Takfiri ideologies, this region and the entire world cannot overcome this main problem of the current era,” he added.

The Iranian spokesperson expressed sympathy with the Pakistani government and nation over the terrorist attacks and offered his condolences to the bereaved families of victims.

At least 12 people, including lawyers, police officers and civilians, were killed and over 50 others wounded after two bombs went off outside a district court in the Pakistani city of Mardan in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday.

Earlier in the day, a security official and a civilian lost their lives when four armed men wearing explosive vests attacked a Christian neighborhood near Warsak Dam, 20 kilometers (12 miles) northwest of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Shortly afterwards, the Taliban-linked Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militant group in Pakistan claimed responsibility for both the court bombing and the attack on the Christian majority area.

The latest wave of violence comes a day after Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa, a senior military official, said some 3,500 terrorists had been eliminated since Islamabad launched an anti-militancy operation in 2014.

He added that over 2,700 soldiers had also lost their lives in the course of the offensive against militants.