ISIS claims Pakistan TV station attack

Pakistani troops stand at the site of firecracker attack on ARY news channel's office in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016. (AP)

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group said Thursday it was behind an attack on a Pakistani television station that injured one person, in a claim warning the media against “concealing facts.”

Two assailants on a motorbike threw an explosive device that appeared to be a grenade and fired gunshots at the ARY Pakistani TV offices in Islamabad late Wednesday, but fled when security guards fired at them, the station said on its Facebook page.

One employee was wounded when his head was struck by shrapnel, the station added.

Pamphlets in Urdu and English tossed by the attackers during the assault urged media not to side with “apostate army and government of Pakistan in their global crusade against Islam... by concealing facts.”

A radio broadcast from ISIS later claimed the assault.

Police said no arrests have been made so far and that they were probing the attack.

“We are busy with investigations and have found some leads and are working on them,” local police station head Sajjad Bokhari told AFP.

He added that police were not sure that a grenade had been used and they were trying to confirm the nature of the device.

Security analyst Amir Rana said ISIS is trying to bolster its foothold in the country by ramping up attacks and called on Pakistan to do more to curb their influence.

“At the moment their visibility is low, so it is the time that authorities move swiftly against ISIS people before they could launch any big attack,” Rana told AFP.

Pakistani police said in December they arrested eight suspected ISIS extremists after a raid in the central province of Punjab, accusing them of planning attacks.

In May last year, the militants claimed responsibility for an assault that killed at least 43 members of the Shiite Ismaili minority in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi.

Islamabad has officially denied the ISIS organization is operating in Pakistan, but authorities have expressed fears the extremists could find recruits among the country’s myriad Islamist militant groups.

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Last Update: 10:57 KSA 13:57 - GMT 10:57
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