Pakistani security officials prepare for their duties in Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan province, Pakistan, 10 September 2023. EFE/EPA/FAYYAZ AHMAD

1 soldier, 7 insurgents killed in clashes in northwestern Pakistan

Islamabad, Sep 11 (EFE).- At least one member of Pakistan’s security forces died on Monday in an attack claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, while seven insurgents were killed in operations by the army in northwestern Pakistan.

An improvised explosive device exploded as a convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary (FC) was passing by near Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, local police official told EFE

“A convoy of FC was attacked on Warsak road at around 10:30 in which one FC official was martyred and eight other people including six FC men and two civilians were injured,” head of Michini Gate Police Station, Sher Alam Khan, told EFE.

The country’s main Taliban group claimed responsibility for the attack and raised the death toll to five.

“At around 11 o’clock today, Mujahideen of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan targeted a QRF (Quick Response Force) vehicle of the FC with an IED mine (…) killing five personnel and injuring three while the vehicle was damaged,” TTP spokesperson Muhammed Khurasani said in a statement.

In a separate incident, seven TTP members were killed by the security forces over the weekend in Chitral district, the media wing of the Pakistan army ISPR said in a statement late Sunday.

“Own troops effectively engaged terrorists’ location and after intense exchange of fire, seven terrorists were killed, while another six were critically injured,” it added.

Both incidents took place in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bordering Afghanistan, where the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed to have seized two military posts last week and instability has been increasing since the Afghan Taliban came to power in 2021.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban for years until the authorities launched a fierce military offensive in 2014.

Although the army claims the area has been cleared of insurgents, attacks on security checkpoints and shootings have increased in recent years, especially since their ideological brethren took control of Kabul in 2021.

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan group is an umbrella organization for a number of Pakistani armed groups that are allied with the Afghan Taliban.

After months of unsuccessful peace negotiations with the government, it announced the resumption of its armed activities in November 2022. EFE