Roadside bombs targeting a security convoy kill seven soldiers in northwestern Pakistan

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — A roadside bomb exploded near a security convoy in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, killing seven soldiers including an army captain, the army said, signaling a rise in militant attacks on security forces.

The latest attack took place in Lakki Marwat, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, the army said.

No one has claimed responsibility, but suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban, who have a strong presence in the region. The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, is a separate group that has been emboldened since the Afghan Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in 2021.

Pakistan has witnessed a spate of militant attacks in recent years, mainly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In January 2023, militants were killed at least 101 people, mostly police officers, when a suicide bomber disguised as a police officer attacked a mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

On Sunday, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) of Peshawar police released a report saying that 65 police officers were killed and another 86 injured in 237 terror incidents in the province in the past five months.

According to the report, police killed 117 militants and arrested 299 others in a series of operations.

Islamist militants have claimed most of the attacks on security forces this year.

Pakistani authorities often say that Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers are harboring TTP fighters across the restive border. The Afghan Taliban government insists it will not allow anyone in any country to use Afghan soil for violence.

TTP has also said it will not use Afghan soil to attack troops in Pakistan.

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