PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Separate bombings targeted members of Pakistan’s paramilitary border force on Monday, killing at least three troops and wounding eight, officials said.
In the first attack, a Taliban suicide bomber riding on a motorcycle hit a Frontier Corps vehicle in Peshawar, near the Afghan border, killing two troops and wounding seven. A few hours later, a second bomb struck in southwestern Chaman province, also on the border with Afghanistan, killing one soldier and wounding another.
Police superintendent Imran Malik said the Peshawar attack happened on the edge of the Khyber tribal area.
Pakistan’s Tehrik-e-Taliban, an umbrella for Pakistani Taliban factions, was behind the attack, according to a statement by the militants’ spokesman, Mohammad Khurasani.
The attack came a day after the Pakistan army announced it had launched an operation in the Khyber tribal region to rout Islamic State militants it said were operating in the area. The Islamic State in Khorasan as it is known in Afghanistan and Pakistan is based in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province which abuts Pakistan and the Khyber tribal region.
The local Islamic State affiliate emerged a few years ago, mainly from disenchanted Taliban fighters espousing the IS’ ideology.
The paramilitary force, known as the Frontier Corps, is the front-line force battling militants in Pakistan’s tribal regions stretching hundreds of kilometres (miles) along its border with Afghanistan.
In the Chaman attack, police said one soldier was killed and another wounded but details were scarce because of the remoteness of the area. No one immediately took responsibility for that explosion.