Ten personnel of the Pakistan armed forces, including a Captain, were killed in two separate attacks in North Waziristan tribal district and Balochistan, Pakistani military’s media wing ISPR confirmed on Saturday.
In the first incident, six Pakistan Army soldiers were killed when terrorists from across the Afghan border opened fire on a border patrol party near Gurbaz area of North Waziristan district.
The attack was claimed by Afghanistan-based Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) group. An official statement released by TTP’s Umar Media on Telegram said that it killed 7 soldiers and captured one MG-1 gun, four G-3 guns and one wireless set from the slain soldiers, which indicates that TTP terrorists likely entered Pakistani territory and returned back to Afghanistan after seizing this equipment. However, Pakistani military didn’t say anything about this particular claim by TTP.
Another discrepancy in TTP’s statement was that TTP mentioned Spin Kamra, Wirza Kali area of Makeen, South Waziristan as the location of the attack, while Pakistani military said that the attack occurred in Gurbaz area of North Waziristan.
“Terrorists from across the border fire raided on Pakistan Army border patrolling party […] 6 soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom),” a statement released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Pakistani military’s media wing, read.
The deceased soldiers from Waziristan attack include Havaldar Khalid, Sepoy Naveed, Sepoy Bachal, Sepoy Ali Raza, Sepoy Mohammad Babar and Sepoy Ahsan.
In the second security incident, four Pakistani armed forces personnel were killed when a convoy of Frontier Corps (FC) Balochistan was attacked by Baloch separatist militants during a combing operation between Hushab and Turbat, the ISPR confirmed in a second press release.
The second attack was claimed by Balochistan Liberation Front (BLF) in a lengthy statement, which also reported on some other security incidents in Balochistan region.
The troops martyred in Balochistan include Capt Aaqib, Sepoy Nadir, Sepoy Atif Altaf and Sepoy Hafeezullah.
The two terrorist attacks which caused the death of ten soldiers were roundly condemned by the Pakistani leadership.
The martyrdom of six soldiers on the Pak-Afghan border and of four in Balochistan “is the sacrifice Pakistan [is] making for peace in the region”, ISPR Director General Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted.
Pakistan’s Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa termed the attacks “dying efforts of frustrated inimical forces while Pakistan moves from stability to enduring peace”.
“We shall ensure defence and security of [the] motherland at the cost of our sweat and blood,” a tweet shared by the DG ISPR quoted him as saying.
While terrorism in Pakistan is at an all time low in over ten years, cross-border attacks from Afghanistan by groups like Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Hizbul Ahrar have increased even as Pakistan has been fencing the border. Moreover, the fencing at the Pak-Afghan border has itself been attacked multiple times by both groups. Earlier this month, TTP released a video which showed its militants dismantling parts of the border fence.