Six Pakistani security personnel killed in separate attacks

Three separate attacks, including two raids on security posts, take place in the country’s western provinces.

Security personnel examine the site of a blast after a suicide bomber on a motorbike blew himself up near a checkpoint in the southwestern city of Quetta [File: Banaras Khan/AFP]

Islamabad, Pakistan – At least six Pakistani security personnel have been killed in three separate attacks, including two raids on security posts, in the country’s western provinces, the military says, the latest in a spike in violence targeting security forces in the South Asian country.

In the northwestern Bajaur district, at least four security personnel were killed late on Wednesday night when an improvised explosive device targeted security forces conducting a search operation in the area, the military’s press wing said in a statement.

The statement said two of those killed were members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps forces, while two others were police officers.

Bajaur district is part of the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), a set of districts along Pakistan’s northwestern border with Afghanistan where the Pakistani military fought a protracted campaign against the Pakistan Taliban, known by the acronym TTP, and its allies since the group’s formation in 2007.

Pakistani troops patrol along Pakistan-Afghanistan border at Big Ben post in the Khyber district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province [File: Aamir Qureshi/AFP]

In 2021, the area has seen a resurgence of attacks against security forces and civilians, with unidentified attackers carrying out raids against security check posts, exploding IEDs near patrolling parties or carrying out targeted attacks against civilians.

In the Thal area of Hangu district, about 180km (112 miles) south of Bajaur, attackers targeted a security check post, killing a 26-year-old soldier, the military said in a separate statement on Wednesday.

“Troops initiated a prompt response and effectively engaged the terrorists,” said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the military’s press wing.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.

In the southwestern district of Kech, in Balochistan province, a soldier was killed when attackers conducted a “fire raid” on a security check post on Wednesday, the military said in a separate statement.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for that attack, but Balochistan has seen an ethnic Baloch armed separatist movement target security forces and civilians for more than 10 years.

Asad Hashim is Al Jazeera’s digital correspondent in Pakistan. He tweets @AsadHashim.

Source: Al Jazeera