At least 11 people, including three Pakistani soldiers, have been killed in two separate terrorist attacks in northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, officials said.
According to the Pakistan Army, three of its soldier were killed in a cross-border attack from Afghanistan in the Kurram district near the Afghan border on Tuesday.
"Terrorists from inside Afghanistan across the international border, opened fire on Pakistani troops in general area Kharlachi, Kurram district. Pakistan army troops responded in a befitting manner. As per credible intelligence reports, due to fire of own troops, terrorists suffered heavy casualties,” the Pakistan army’s media wing said in a statement.
During an exchange of fire, three soldiers lost their lives.
Pakistan strongly condemned the use of Afghanistan’s soil by terrorists for carrying out attacks against its forces in the border areas.
Pakistan expects the Afghan government will not allow such activities in the future, said the Inter-Services Public Relations, adding the army is determined to defend Pakistan’s borders against the menace of terrorism.
Attacks on the Pakistan Army and police have increased in border areas in recent days despite an open-ended cease-fire between the Pakistani security forces and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a combination of several militant groups operating in Pakistan.
Formally established in June 2007, the TTP has been involved in numerous attacks, including suicide bombings, inside Pakistan.
The network later stepped up subversive activities in North Waziristan – once dubbed the heartland of militancy – following an army onslaught on South Waziristan in 2010.
Another large-scale army operation in 2014 pushed the TTP to neighboring Afghanistan. Islamabad claims the terrorist network has now set up bases across the border to attack Pakistani security forces.
Meanwhile, at least eight people, including a key member of the peace committee, were killed in a roadside bomb blast in the scenic valley of Swat late Tuesday.
"A remote-controlled bomb exploded near the vehicle of Idrees Khan, a member of the Peace Committee in Bara Bandai, and eight people, including Khan and two security personnel, were killed,” Zahid Marwat, a district police officer of Swat, said in a statement.
No militant group claimed responsibility for the attack but recently local people held a massive protest against the alleged return of TTP militants in the area from Afghanistan.
However, the Pakistan Army rejected the reports, saying no militant has any presence in the area.
Swat, a tourist spot in Pakistan, and other parts of the Malakand Division were once a stronghold of the TTP, but the Pakistan Army launched a full-scale military operation against the terrorist group in 2009 and announced its successful completion in 2018.