Taliban militants in Pakistan end ceasefire with government - spokesman

General view of the Pakistan's flag and the Taliban's flag in the background as seen from the Friendship Gate crossing point in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, Pakistan August 12, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Taliban militants in Pakistan will no longer abide by a months-long ceasefire with the Pakistani government, a spokesman for the militant group said on Monday.

The Afghan Taliban have been facilitating peace talks between local militants and the government since late last year.

The end of the ceasefire comes ahead of a visit by a Pakistani delegation, led by state minister for foreign affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, to Kabul on Tuesday.

Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the militant group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) told Reuters in a text message that its leadership had decided to end the ceasefire with Pakistan.

A TTP statement urged its fighters to resume attacks in retaliation towards a continuous military campaign against them. The Pakistani military has carried out several offensives against the militants in their strongholds in remote lawless districts bordering Afghanistan.

The TTP is an umbrella group of several Sunni militant groups who have been attacking the state for years, with the aim of overthrowing the government and governing the South Asian nation of 220 million with the Taliban's strict brand of Islamic laws.

There was no immediate response from the government.

The TTP has carried out some of the bloodiest attacks inside Pakistan since 2007. It is not directly affiliated with the Afghan Taliban, but pledges allegiance to them.

Reporting by Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar and Saud Mahsud in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan; Writing by Asif Shahzad; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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