Suicide car bomber hits checkpoint in northwest Pakistan, killing 4 in second attack in as many days
Associated Press May 24, 2023
MIR ALI, Pakistan — A suicide car bomber targeted a security checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing two soldiers, a policeman and a civilian, the military and security officials said.
It was the second militant attack to hit Pakistan in as many days.
The bombing happened in North Waziristan, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that borders Afghanistan and is a former stronghold of the militant Pakistani Taliban group, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
A number of civilians were also wounded in the attack, according to Rehmat Khan, a local police official.
The military in a statement also confirmed the car bombing and the casualties. It said the attacker wanted to target a nearby public gathering but security forces "prevented a major catastrophe" by immediately intercepting the car bomber.
No one claimed responsibility for the attack but suspicion is likely to fall on the Pakistani Taliban.
Separately, security forces killed six militants in a raid on their hideout in South Waziristan, a district also bordering Afghanistan, the military said Wednesday. It did not provide any details about the slain insurgents, but such operations are usually carried out against the TTP. In the last six months, the group has stepped up its attacks since it unilaterally ended a cease-fire with the Pakistani government, brokered by neighboring Afghanistan last year.
Also on Wednesday, the TTP claimed responsibility for an attack the previous day on an oil and gas plant in Hangu, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on the border with Afghanistan. Four security troops and two private guards were killed in the attack on the facility run by a multinational European company, MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas.
Though a separate group, the TTP remains a close ally to the Afghan Taliban, who took over Afghanistan in August 2021 following the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from the country after two decades of war. The takeover some say has emboldened the TTP in Pakistan.
Associated Press writer Riaz Khan contributed to this story from Miran Shah, Pakistan.