Taliban gunmen have killed at least nine members of security forces in twin attacks in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region, officials have said. 

Taliban fighters opened fire at a police checkpoint early on Thursday in the Pandyali area of Mohmand district, bordering Afghanistan, where they killed seven men.

A separate group also attacked a solar-powered well in Michni area of the same region, where they shot dead two guards.

The number of Taliban casualties is not yet known.

"The Taliban targeted our checkpost in the middle of the night. Our forces did their best to retaliate and fight them back, however we don't have any figures [of the number of Taliban killed] at the moment as the investigation is still ingoing," Naveed Akbar, political administrator in the region, told Al Jazeera. 


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"We are grieving for our colleagues. The Taliban however, will not succeed in their motives."

A breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

"Jamaat-ur-Ahrar accepts responsibility for both attacks with this vow that until the imposition of sharia [Islamic law] our attacks will remain ongoing, God willing," spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said in an email statement.

Pakistan's army intensified its offensive in the region after the Taliban massacred 144 people, mostly children, in Peshawar in December 2014. 

Overall, the level of rebel violence has dropped dramatically, with 2015 seeing the fewest deaths among civilian and security forces since 2007.


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But the threat posed by the Taliban remains, particularly in the country's northwest.

Last month Taliban gunmen stormed a university in the northwestern town of Charsadda, killing 21 people.

Pakistan has been fighting homegrown rebel fighters since 2004, when the Taliban, displaced by the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, began a campaign in border tribal areas.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies