Three Pakistan Army soldiers and as many children were martyred after a suicide blast occurred in the vicinity of Miranshah, North Waziristan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Sunday.
In a brief statement, the military's media affairs wing identified the martyred soldiers as 33-year-old Lance Havaldar Zubair Qadir from Pakpattan, 21-year-old Sepoy Uzair Asfar from Haripur and 22-year-old Sepoy Qasim Maqsood from Multan.
Meanwhile, the children were identified as 11-year-old Ahmed Hassan, eight-year-old Ahsan and four-year-old Anum.
"Intelligence agencies are investigating to find out about [the] suicide bomber and his handlers/facilitators," the statement concluded.
Separately, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif condemned the suicide attack and expressed grief over the lives lost. In a statement, PM Shehbaz also paid special tribute to the martyred soldiers, and offered his condolences to the families of the children.
"The killers of innocent children are the enemies of both Islam and humanity. We will not sit idle until this brutality is eradicated," he said, vowing to punish the facilitators of the attacker.
He went on to say that the sacrifices rendered by the armed forces was a golden chapter in the country's history, adding that Pakistan was proud of its martyrs.
Taking to Twitter, the prime minister also said: "Blood of our soldiers and citizens is a debt on us that we will repay by eradicating terrorism from our country."
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb also condemned the attack and offered her condolences. According to Radio Pakistan, the minister said miscreants wanted to "destabilise law and order in the country". She also said that the sacrifices rendered by the security personnel would not go in vain.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also paid special tribute to the martyred soldiers. "The whole nation stands with the army against terrorism," he said in a statement.
Last month, two Pakistan Army soldiers embraced martyrdom in the Sararogha area of South Waziristan district during a gun battle with terrorists.
According to the ISPR, armed terrorists attacked the soldiers in the Sararogha area, prompting immediate retaliation from the troops and an intense exchange of fire ensued.
On April 23, three soldiers were martyred in the Dewagar area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's North Waziristan district during an exchange of fire with terrorists from across the Afghan border.