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Deadly Bomb Hits Pakistan Military Convoy 

Authorities in northwestern Pakistan said Monday that a bomb explosion killed at least one soldier and wounded several people, including civilians.

The attack targeted the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) convoy in Peshawar, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan.

Area police officer Mohammad Arash Khan told reporters that six FC personnel and two civilians were among the wounded.

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it ambushed the convoy with an improvised explosive device.

The group, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, has routinely plotted bombings and other terrorist attacks in districts close to or on the nearly 2,600-kilometer border with Afghanistan, killing hundreds of people, mostly security forces.

The Pakistani military has confirmed the death of more than 220 soldiers and officers in nationwide attacks this year.

Islamabad says fugitive TTP leaders and fighters orchestrate the violence from their sanctuaries in Afghanistan, and says the Taliban's return to power in the neighboring country in 2021 has emboldened and enabled the TTP to intensify cross-border attacks.

Last week, a large group of heavily armed TTP militants assaulted Pakistani security outposts in the northern Chitral district near the Afghan border, killing four soldiers and 12 assailants, according to officials.

Taliban rulers in Afghanistan reject the allegations, saying they are not allowing anyone to use their territory against Pakistan or other countries.

The TTP leadership has publicly pledged allegiance to Hibatullah Akhundzada, the supreme leader of the Afghan Taliban. In its latest report, the United Nations has estimated that at least 4,000 TTP militants are active on Afghan soil.

The Islamist Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, when the United States and NATO allies chaotically withdrew all their troops to end nearly two decades of war with the then-Taliban insurgents.

Pakistan's southwestern Baluchistan border province has recently also experienced an uptick in insurgent violence by separatist ethnic Baluch groups.

The Pakistani government has blamed the weapons and gear left by the U.S. military in Afghanistan for the uptick in terrorism.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar told reporters earlier this month that the war equipment had fallen into the hands of TTP and Baluch insurgents, enhancing their capacity to fight the Pakistani state.

"There was no equipment left behind by American forces," John Kirby, the U.S. National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, told reporters last week when asked for his response to the Pakistani assertions.

"The equipment that people are saying the Americans left behind, that was equipment that was transferred well in advance of our departure to the [now-defunct] Afghan National Security Forces," Kirby said. "It belonged to the Afghan National Security Forces. They — as the Taliban advanced on Kabul and other places throughout the country, they abandoned that equipment, not the United States."