File photo used for reprsentational purpose
PESHAWAR: A powerful roadside bomb targeted a military vehicle in northwestern Pakistan, a former Taliban stronghold, killing three soldiers, officials said. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which is raising fears the militants are regrouping in the region.
The bombing happened as the troops were patrolling in South Waziristan, which lies in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan, said two intelligence officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
There was no immediate statement from the military or the government but Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack. The Pakistani Taliban, or Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, is a separate insurgent group from the Afghan Taliban.
South Waziristan served as a base for Pakistani and foreign militants until recent years, when the military claimed it cleared the region.
The Pakistani Taliban have been targeting the military and civilians across the country since 2001, when this Islamic nation joined the U.S.-led war on terror following the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. Since then, the insurgents have declared war on the government of Pakistan and have carried out numerous attacks, including a brutal assault on an army-run school in the city of Peshawar in 2014 that killed 140 children and several teachers.
Pakistan's militant groups are often interlinked with those across the border in Afghanistan.
According to a recently released U.N. report, more than 6,000 Pakistani insurgents are hiding in Afghanistan, most belonging to the outlawed Pakistani Taliban, which has stepped up attacks on troops in recent weeks in the region.