TTP claims responsibility for the incident, which the ISPR has said occurred during an intelligence-based operation
Seven soldiers of the Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom during an intelligence-based operation in South Waziristan, read a statement issued by the military’s media wing on Wednesday, adding that five terrorists had also been killed in the exchange of fire.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which Islamabad has been claiming has lost “safe havens” in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of the neighboring state, has claimed responsibility for the assault.
In a statement, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that an operation was launched in response to intelligence about the presence of terrorists in the area. “During intense exchange of fire, 5 terrorists were killed and 7 soldiers embraced shahadat,” it said, adding that security forces had immediately cordoned off the area and launched a search operation “to eliminate any other terrorists” that might be hiding in the area.
In recent months, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed have both repeatedly claimed that the TTP is now on the back foot, as it has lost the “safe havens” it enjoyed in Afghanistan under the previous government. However, these claims ring hollow amidst a significant uptick in attacks on security forces that have been claimed by the banned group.
Earlier this month, at least four Frontier Corps officials were martyred and 18 others injured in a suicide attack near a checkpost on Quetta’s Mastung Road. Last week, two Army soldiers were martyred in an improvised explosive device attack in North Waziristan. Both assaults were claimed by the TTP.