Taliban kills at least 9 officers in Pakistan's northwest

Pakistani Taliban militants carry out two separate attacks in country’s northwest region killing at least 9 security personnel

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Pakistani security forces take guard on a road leading to the Army Public School that was attacked by Taliban militants in Peshawar, December 16, 2014.

Pakistani Taliban militants on Thursday fatally shot at least nine security forces personnel in two separate attacks in a volatile northwestern region, said security and government officials.

"The attacks came at around 1:00 am. It was pitch black and the policemen were caught unaware. The militants struck suddenly and killed them without giving them a chance to fight back," Naveed Akbar, an administration official in the region, told AFP.

Two members of the Khasadar paramilitary force on guard duty were shot dead, followed by an attack on a village checkpost in Akar that killed seven, said Naveed Akbar, a senior government official in Mohmand.

Another government official, Khyal Nabi, confirmed the death toll, saying the bodies were being handed over to their families for burial.

The Jamaat ur Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Last month, militants killed at least 20 people, mostly students, at the Bacha Khan University, about 48 km (30 miles) from the sites of Thursday's attacks.

Pakistan's northwestern Mohmand region has been the traditional home of ethnic groups such as the Mohmand, Musa Khail and Shalizi.

Mohmand is one of Pakistan's seven tribal districts which border Afghanistan and have been home to Al Qaeda and Taliban led militants.

However, levels of militant-linked violence have dropped dramatically within the country, with 2015 seeing the fewest deaths among civilian and security forces since 2007 -- the year the Pakistani Taliban umbrella group was formed.

TRTWorld and agencies