Militants kill Pakistani officers in fight
ISLAMABAD — A shootout with militants in a Pakistani tribal region bordering Afghanistan early Wednesday killed an army major and three other officers, the military said. The Pakistani Taliban later claimed responsibility.
According to a military statement, one of the attackers blew himself up and another was shot and killed during a military raid on a home in the Dir tribal region. The slain officers included an intelligence officer, the statement added.
The military said one militant was captured in the raid. It provided no additional details and said only that the raid foiled a possible militant attack.
The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tahreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, said in a text message sent to the media that the group was behind the killing of the soldiers.
Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the group, said the soldiers were targeted while they conducted a search operation.
“We will continue to avenge the killing of our fellow fighters in custody,” he said.
The latest military casualties came weeks after the army began a new operation against militants in another Khyber tribal region in the northwest. The operation aims to prevent insurgents from carrying out cross-border attacks in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.
The Pakistani military has undertaken several operations in the tribal regions in recent years and at one point claimed it had cleared the areas. But militants still swiftly move across the porous border to regroup and stage new attacks.