MIRANSHAH: At least five soldiers were killed and 34 wounded when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a military checkpoint in Pakistan's troubled northwest on Wednesday, security officials said.

The attack came in the Mir Ali area of Miranshah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region, a hub for Taliban and al Qaeda linked militants on the Afghan border.

A senior security official said that “a truck laden with explosives was rammed into the checkpoint when security officials were offering evening prayers”.

As a result, “five soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom)”, the official said.

“The checkpoint has been completely destroyed and 34 injured security personnel have also been recovered,” he said, revising an earlier toll of 4 people dead and 25 injured.

Another security official confirmed the toll, adding that out of the 34 injured, 28 were soldiers and six were from the Frontier Corps, the paramilitary group serving in Pakistan's northwest and tribal areas.

Ansarul Mujahideen, a little-known militant group linked to the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP) faction claimed the responsibility hours after the attack.

While speaking to Dawn.com, Abu Baseer, the spokesman for the group, said they carried out the attack as an act of revenge for the killing of former TTP leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

“We will continue such attacks in future as drones continue to kill our people,” he said.

The umbrella TTP faction and al-Qaeda linked militants have led a bloody campaign against the Pakistani state in recent years, carrying out hundreds of attacks on security forces and government targets, concentrated largely in the northwest.

Additional reporting by Zahir Shah Sherazi

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