Roadside bomb attack targeting security convoy kills 5 soldiers and wounds 2 in northwest Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A roadside bomb exploded near a security convoy in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing five soldiers and wounding two others, officials said, a sign of increasing attacks on security forces in the volatile region.

The latest attack in the region happened in the district of Kurram, a former militant stronghold in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.

In a statement, the military said a search operation was underway in the region where the attack happened “to eliminate any terrorists present in the area and perpetrators of this heinous act will be brought to justice.”

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack. However, blame was likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, an ally of the Afghan Taliban but is a separate group. It has stepped up its assaults in the region since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in 2021.

The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan emboldened the TTP, whose top leaders and fighters are hiding in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, authorities said Friday that suspected separatists kidnapped at least 10 people from Harnai, a district in the restive southwestern Baluchistan province, and efforts were underway to secure their release.

A government administrator, Bashir Bugulzai, said the men were abducted Wednesday.

The separatist Baluchistan Liberation Army group has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings without giving any further details. Baluchistan has been the scene of an insurgency by Baluch nationalists for more than two decades.

The Associated Press