ISLAMABAD: A roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying Pakistani soldiers in North Waziristan tribal agency near the Afghan border on Thursday, killing four of them, military officials said.
The officials said five soldiers were also wounded in the attack in the Spinwam village, some 45 kilometres east of Miramshah, the main town of the North Waziristan, the troubled northwestern tribal area of Pakistan.
They blamed “miscreants” – a term they often use for Taliban militants – for the attack. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to brief the media on the record.
Meanwhile, Ansarul Mujahideen, a little known militant group linked to the umbrella Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the attack.
“It is in retaliation to the drone strike in Hangu,” Abu Baseer, a purported spokesman of the group told AFP by telephone, threatening more attacks.
Hangu is a district in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where a US drone struck a religious seminary in November, killing six militants.
The attack, which militant sources said killed the Haqqanis' spiritual leader along with five others, was extremely unusual in that it was mounted outside Pakistan's lawless tribal areas on the Afghan border.
North Waziristan is one of the main strongholds of Pakistani Taliban. Pakistan has carried out several offensives in North Waziristan, where the US often carry out drone strikes to target local and foreign militants.
Pakistan has condemned these drone strikes and has demanded a halt to them.