ISIS recruiting in Pakistan

Islamabad - Booklets calling for support the Islamic State (ISIS) and its self-proclaimed caliphate have been handed out in north-western Pakistan, officials said on Wednesday.

"The booklet is in Pashto and Dari languages," widely spoken in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and has been in circulation for around two weeks, police official Muhammad Altaf told dpa.

Titled al-Fatah, or Victory, the 12-page booklet bears an Islamic motto in traditional calligraphy and a picture of AK-47 assault rifle on the cover.

Media reports suggested the booklet was also distributed in several districts on the other side of the border in Afghanistan.

It explains the objectives of the Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in northern Syria and Iraq, and urges the Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia to support it, according to government official Amjad Khan, who has seen copies.

He said police were investigating the source.

Observers said Islamic State sympathisers could be exploiting the suppression of local militants by a recent military offensive.

"The Pakistan Taliban have been in disarray since the offensive started in June," analyst Fida Khan said. "There is certainly room for a new group to capitalise on jihadi sentiments."

"Islamic State supporters may be thinking this is their best chance to establish themselves in this part of the world."

The Pakistani military said on Wednesday it had killed over 900 militants in two-and-a-half-month campaign near the Afghan border, a region thought to harbour al-Qaeda-linked groups.