Taliban militants have claimed responsibility for killing nine Pakistani security troops in two overnight attacks in a restive tribal territory bordering Afghanistan.
Officials in the semi-autonomous Mohmand Agency say seven members of the Khasadar force were killed when insurgents staged a hit-and-run surprise attack late Wednesday on their security outpost in the Pandyali area.
The second attack took place around the same time in the nearby Michni area, in which militants gunned down two security men guarding a solar-powered tube well.
Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which is fighting along side the Pakistani Taliban against the state of Pakistan, claimed its fighters carried out the two attacks.
Mohmand Agency is one of Pakistan’s seven semi-autonomous tribal districts lining the border with Afghanistan. They have long been considered strongholds of local, as well as al-Qaida militants linked to Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgency.
The Pakistan military has been conducting ground and air offensives against suspected hideouts in the border region and officials claim to have mostly cleared it of insurgents.