PESHAWAR: A roadside bomb attack on Sunday killed Pakistan's two senior military officers and a soldier in the country's troubled northwest, the military said.
The Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have accepted responsibility for the attack, which was confirmed by TTP spokesman Shahidullah Shahid in a statement.
Major General Sanaullah Niazi and Lieutenant Colonel Touseef were visiting troop posts in the Upper Dir district of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, along the Afghan border, when their vehicle hit a planted bomb killing them along with a soldier.
“Maj Gen Sanaullah and Lt Col Touseef embraced Shahadat (martyrdom) this morning. They were returning after visiting troops posts on Pak Afghan Border,” the military said in a statement, adding that the incident resulted from an IED planted on the road near the border.
“Sepoy Imran also embraced Shahadat (martyrdom), two soldiers injured in the blast have been evacuated,” it added.
“Pakistan army has made substantial sacrifices to protect the nation against the menace of terrorism and such cowardly acts by terrorists cannot deter the morale of our armed forces,” Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said in a statement.
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had announced on Saturday that withdrawal of troops from Malakand division would begin next month and the civil administration would take over control of the area.
The announcement came at a time when the federal government is preparing to launch peace talks with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in the light of decisions of an all-party conference.
Separately, two roadside bomb attacks in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan, killed two soldiers on Sunday and wounded four others, security officials said.
In the neighbouring district of Bannu, Taliban militants ambushed a convoy of tribal police early Sunday, killing two of them and wounding four others, the officials said.
Pakistan says more than 40,000 people have been killed as a result of bomb and suicide attacks carried out by Taliban and Al-Qaeda-led militants who oppose Islamabad's US alliance.