Pakistan says militants attack army post, killing soldiers

The Pakistani military said militants attacked an army post in a former militant stronghold in the northwest of the country on the border with Afghanistan, sparking a shootout that killed a soldier

ISLAMABAD — Militants attacked a military post in northwestern Pakistan on the border with Afghanistan on Friday, sparking a fierce gun battle that left a soldier dead, the military said. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to a military statement, the pre-dawn attack took place in Bannu, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It said the troops returned fire, but it was unclear whether the attackers were injured or killed.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Pakistani Taliban did not provide further details.

Also on Friday, Pakistani troops raided a militant hideout northwest of the town of Milan Shah, killing one militant and arresting two suspects, another military statement said.

While militants often target security posts and the army routinely raids militant hideouts, the latest violence comes a day after the Pakistani Taliban confirmed the killing of the group’s former spokesman in Afghanistan over the weekend.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP known for the Pakistani Taliban, vowed to avenge his killing. The Pakistani Taliban is an umbrella organization that is independent of the Afghan Taliban. In November, Pakistan announced a one-month ceasefire with the TTP. The group has been behind multiple attacks on security forces and civilians over the past 14 years.

The ceasefire ended on December 9, and since then the group has resumed attacks, in part because the Taliban took over neighboring Afghanistan.