A roadside bomb kills 2 soldiers and troops kill 1 militant in northwest Pakistan

Two Pakistani soldiers and one militant were killed in a roadside bomb explosion and in a separate shootout during an overnight military operation against militant activity in the northwest alongside the border with Afghanistan, the military said Saturday.

A military statement said an intelligence-based operation was conducted in the Tirah valley of Khyber district late Friday night. One militant was killed and two others were wounded and arrested.

The military said two of its soldiers were killed when a roadside bomb exploded while a security patrol was passing by in South Waziristan overnight. Security troops were conducting a search operation in the area to eliminate militants involved in the attack.

Tribal districts along the border with Afghanistan have been sanctuaries for militants for decades until the military carried out a massive operation after an attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in 2014 killed more than 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.

After the yearslong operation, the army announced it had cleared the region of local and foreign militants. Occasional attacks have continued, however, raising concerns that the local Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, found sanctuaries in Afghanistan and are regrouping in the area.

The Pakistani Taliban are a separate group but allies of the Afghan Taliban, which seized power in Afghanistan in 2021 as the U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout.

Meanwhile, counterterrorism police in their ongoing operations in Punjab province arrested 10 members of banned extremist groups. A police statement said that counterterrorism officers picked up and interrogated a total of 225 suspects suspects in raids in cities including Lahore and Sargodha.