KARACHI: Counter-terrorism authorities say that evidence available to them lends credence to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) claims of responsibility for the July 24 attack on the police but they cannot entirely rule out the involvement of a new outfit either. On Monday, Ahmed Mansoor, a TTP spokesperson, had sent out an email to media persons saying that no new outfit was involved in the attack in which a traffic policeman lost his life and another got bullet injuries. The TTP spokesperson also attached images of a gun the banned outfit claimed to have seized from the police during the July 24 attack to corroborate his claim. Mansoor said sharp shooters affiliated with the banned outfit’s STF Commandos had conducted the attack. The possibility of a new outfit’s involvement in recent series of attacks on the city police had emerged after a pamphlet with a message from Ansar al-Sharia Pakistan (ASP) was found from the site of an attack in June. “The evidence certainly gives credence to the [TTP] claims but such claims have mostly turned out to be false,” Raja Umar Khattab, Sindh CTD in-charge, told Daily Times. He said there had been attacks in the past as well for which multiple outfits claimed responsibility. “Mostly this is to mislead investigators. We have to keep several aspects in front of us before concluding investigation of an incident,” he said. But Khattab did not completely rule out the involvement of a new outfit in June attack. Four policemen had died as unidentified gunmen opened fire at them in the SITE area of Karachi on June 23. The next attack suffered by the city police was three days before the Abul Hasan Isfahani Road incident. On July 21, three policemen lost their lives as a police mobile van came under attack in Awami Colony precinct in Korangi area. Studies conducted by security think tanks also note that claiming of responsibility is more often than not is a tactical act and should not always be believed on face value. The CRSS Security Report released in July 2015 noted that the highest percentage (23 %) of sectarian killings in the months studied had been claimed by Jundullah. Other major claimants of killings reported between July 2014 and June 2015 were Jundul Hafsa and Ansarul Islam groups of the TTP. The notorious sectarian outfit Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claimed responsibility for just 14% of the attacks. Meanwhile, authorities assess that the TTP’s presence has largely been eradicated from localities formerly under its control. These are Kunwari Colony and parts of Sohrab Goth. But security officials are also probing where the TTP was attempting to re-establish its financial network in the country’s commercial capital. Published in Daily Times, August 4th 2017.