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Pakistani Militant Groups Rejoin Taliban

A video grab shows Mullah Fazlullah (C), the head of the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) at an undisclosed location.

Two major Pakistani militant groups that split off from Pakistan's Taliban last year have announced they are rejoining the Taliban, known as Tehrik-e Taliban (TTP).

On March 12, the leaders of Taliban splinter group Jamat-ul-Ahrar and militants from Lashkar-e-Islam pledged loyalty to the TTP.

Jamat-ul-Ahrar split from the TTP last summer and later pledged allegiance to the Islamic State militant group.

Jamat-ul-Ahrar spokesman Ensanullah Ehsan said in a statement emailed to news agencies his group had rejoined the TTP and he added Lashkar-e-Islam, led by warlord Mangal Bagh, had also rejoined.

TTP spokesman Muhammad Khorasani confirmed the realliance in a separate statement sent to news agencies.

The decision by the two groups to rejoin TTP comes as hopes for Afghan peace talks are increasing.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP