Mil­i­tants kill Pak­istani of­fi­cers in fight

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

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.

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