8 Pakistani Soldiers Killed in Militant Attack in Afghan Border Region; Taliban Wing Under Suspicion

Eight Pakistani soldiers and four members of an armed group were killed in two militant attacks in North Waziristan near Pak-Afghan border. North Waziristan, the "heartland of militancy", is recognized as one of the seven semi-autonomous tribal regions where the Pakistani army has conducted numerous operations.

In the first incident, the armed group members attacked a security forces vehicle in the Datakhel tehsil of North Waziristan, where seven soldiers were killed. The second incident occurred in the Isham area of the district where one soldier lost his life in an exchange of fire between the security forces and the armed group, The Dawn reported.

Pak - Afghan on Map
Pak - Afghan border on Map Twitter

"As for the first attack, the terrorists attacked a moving vehicle of the security forces in Datakhel near the Afghan border. A rocket-propelled grenade launcher and assault guns were used in the attack," a senior official was quoted as saying.

As per reports, both the attacks had happened on Thursday, the security personnel also fought back but the fatalities on the armed group could not be confirmed. Regarding the first ambush, a military statement was released on Friday, confirming that the Pakistani military forces were attacked by the militant group in an old military base of the Pakistan Taliban, leading to the violent clash.

No formal statements or confirmations regarding the second attack have been issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations of Pakistan (ISPR). No immediate claim of responsibility has been announced but the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, are being suspected to have planned the attack. This militant group is different from the Taliban who took over Afghanistan in August 2021.

Pakistan flag
Pakistan flag (Representational image) Pixabay

The suspicions arise due to the alleged claims of the Islamic state group's regional associate of executing some attacks in the region in the past. The Afghan Taliban and the TTP have worked in a sort of alliance as Pakistani Taliban leaders and fighters have on numerous occasions sheltered across the border in Afghanistan.

The incident comes as Pakistan's military states on Thursday that over 128 armed fighters have lost their lives in the Pak – Afghan border region since January and further acknowledged the death of almost 100 soldiers in similar attacks during the same stretch of time.