ISLAMABAD — Pakistani officials said Thursday that a “motorcycle-borne” suicide bomber struck a military convoy in a remote northwestern region, killing at least nine soldiers and wounding several others.
The deadly attack occurred in the Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, according to the military’s media wing.
Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, condemned the bombing in a message posted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“Heartbroken by the loss of 9 valiant soldiers … to a cowardly terrorist act that injured many. Such acts are utterly reprehensible,” Kakar wrote. “My thoughts are with the families of the martyred and injured. Pakistan stands resolute against such terror.”
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing in a region where the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan — also known as the TTP or the Pakistani Taliban — routinely target security forces.
Last week, six Pakistani soldiers were killed in a shootout with TTP insurgents in nearby South Waziristan district.
The Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups have recently increased attacks in the country.
This year, the violence has killed about 500 people nationwide, including civilians and security forces. Army officials have confirmed the deaths of more than 140 soldiers since the start of 2023.
Pakistan maintains that fugitive TTP leaders have increasingly directed cross-border terrorism from sanctuaries in Afghanistan since the Afghan Taliban returned to power in the neighboring country two years ago.
The Taliban reject the allegations, saying they have not allowed anyone to use Afghan soil against other countries, including Pakistan.
The TTP is a known offshoot and close ally of the ruling Taliban in Afghanistan.
The United States and the United Nations have listed the Pakistani Taliban as a global terrorist organization. A recent U.N. report estimated that up to 6,000 TTP members operate in Afghanistan.
Source : VOA News