Seven others injured in blast targeting military vehicle in Bannu.
A roadside bomb on Sunday killed three Pakistani soldiers and wounded at least seven others in the region bordering Afghanistan, officials said.
A military vehicle on a routine patrol hit an improvised explosive device (IED) in the Bannu region of North Waziristan tribal district, a bastion of militants linked to Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
“Three soldiers were killed and at least seven others wounded when their vehicle was struck with an IED alongside Bannu-Miranshah road early in the morning on Sunday,” a security official in Peshawar said on condition of anonymity. The incident took place 15 kilometers west of Bannu. One soldier was killed on the spot and two others died in hospital, he said.
A little known militant organization, Ansarul Islam Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the attack. “We attacked the military convoy in Bannu region this morning,” said Abu Baseer, a spokesman for the militant outfit. “Such attacks are in retaliation for the drone strikes and will continue until the U.S. and Pakistani governments stop targeting mujahideen through the unmanned aircraft,” he said.
U.S. drone strikes inside Pakistan’s tribal areas against Al Qaeda and Taliban militants are highly unpopular in Pakistan. The Pakistani government publicly condemns them as counter-productive and a violation of its sovereignty but officials privately admit their usefulness.