PESHAWAR: Heavily armed militants attacked a paramilitary checkpoint in Pakistan’s lawless tribal area on the Afghan border, killing two soldiers and wounding six others, officials said Tuesday.
The Frontier Corps (FC) said its troops were targeted in Mohmand district where a double suicide bombing killed 43 people last week.
“More than 20 militants armed with automatic weapons attacked an FC checkpost in Shatai village of Mohmand agency late Monday night, killing two soldiers and wounding six others,” a local official Shakirullah said.
Mohmand is part of Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt which Washington considers a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and an epicentre for Taliban groups fighting US-led forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.
FC spokesman Major Fazal-ur-Rehman confirmed the attack and said the damage was still being assessed.
Pakistan has fought homegrown militants for years in the semi-autonomous area, but has been heavily criticised by US and Afghan officials for not widening the fight to networks active within Afghanistan.
Gunmen also attacked a small Sufi shrine overnight, killing three caretakers in Budhber, on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar.
“At least five militants attacked the shrine and opened indiscriminate fire, killing three caretakers,” local police official Waris Khan said.
Armed extremists have increasingly targeted shrines venerated by Sufi worshippers, who follow a mystical strain of Islam.
The incident came hours after a roadside bomb struck a school bus, killing one person and wounding two children in Peshawar.