At least six Pakistani soldiers died on Tuesday near the border with Afghanistan after a clash with an armed “terrorist” group, amid a new upsurge in conflicts and violence in the region.
The Army has issued a statement in which it has specified that the shooting took place in South Waziristan, a very mountainous region in the province of Jaiber Pastunjuá, and in it four alleged terrorists have been killed and two others have been injured.
“The Pakistan Armed Forces are determined to eliminate the threat of terrorism and the sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our determination,” the military authorities have emphasized.
The Waziristan region of northwest Pakistan has long served as a hub for al Qaeda-linked Islamists before they began to be driven from their hideouts in 2014 amid pressure from the military, if well they have started to retreat again.
The terrorist group Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), known as the Pakistani Taliban, have increased their attacks after ending the ceasefire in November 2022, amid some contacts that were being mediated by the Afghan Taliban after seize power in Afghanistan in August 2021.
Islamabad has denounced that TTP uses Afghan territory for its attacks and has even threatened cross-border operations, something strongly rejected from Kabul.
TTP, which differs from the Afghan Taliban in organizational matters but follows the same rigorous interpretation of Sunni Islam, brings together more than a dozen Islamist militant groups operating in Pakistan, where they have killed some 70,000 people in two decades of violence.