Shootout in northwest Pakistan, along Afghan border, kills 3 soldiers, 3 militants, army says

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Peshawar (AP) — Militants attacked a security checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan, along the border with Afghanistan, triggering a shootout that left three soldiers and three militants dead, the army said Sunday.

Four militants were also wounded, the military said in a statement.

The overnight shootout early Saturday took place in the Miran Shah tribal area of North Waziristan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban, a militant group also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP.

The Pakistani army carried out search operations to track down those responsible for the attack. They also seized a cache of ammunition found with the dead militants.

The military said it was “determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism.”

Although the army says it has cleared North Waziristan of militants, occasional attacks and shootouts continue, raising concerns that the Pakistani Taliban are regrouping in the area.

Though a separate group, the TTP remains a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, during the last weeks of the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from the country after two decades of war.

The takeover emboldened the TTP. They unilaterally ended a cease-fire agreement with the Pakistani government last November and have since stepped up their attacks in the country, particularly against the army.

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