Pakistan: 3 troops, 7 militants killed in overnight attacks

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Militants targeted Pakistani security forces in three overnight attacks in the country's volatile northwest, triggering shootouts that killed three soldiers and seven militants, the military said Friday.

The near-simultaneous attacks late Thursday night in Lakki Marwat, a district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, lasted several hours.

A military statement said the attackers were repulsed but that three soldiers “embraced martyrdom” while responding to the attacks.

In one of the attacks, a suicide bomber riding on a motorcycle blew himself up near a compound housing security forces. The military said troops were still searching the area for the militants who escaped following the attacks.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attacks but suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban who have been behind past attacks in the region and have a strong presence in the province.

The militants, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, are a separate group but allied with the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in the neighboring country in August 2021 as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout.

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has emboldened the Pakistani Taliban, who have stepped up attacks in recent months.