The outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has brought two splinter groups — Jamat-ul-Ahrar (JuA) and Hizb-ul-Ahrar (HuA) — back into their fold, they announced in a statement. The TTP, designated a terrorist group by the United States, has been in disarray in recent years, especially after several of its top leaders were killed by US drone strikes on both sides of the border, forcing its members into shelter in Afghanistan, or fleeing to urban Pakistan. “Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan welcomes them,” the TTP statement said of the two splinter groups, adding that it would like all groups to unite.The reunion with JuA and HuA appears significant in view of the rise in militant attacks against security forces, most claimed by the TTP, including some suicide bombings. The Taliban said the two groups pledged allegiance to the TTP chief, Mufti Noor Wali, shown in photos at a ceremony. It was not clear on which side of the border the ceremony took place.Government and military officials did not comment on the merger or the location of the ceremony.