Nine soldiers were martyred while five others were injured in a suicide attack at a military convoy in the Jani Khel general area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Bannu district, the military’s media affairs wing said on Thursday.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), a “motorcycle-borne suicide bomber exploded himself on a military convoy”.

“Resultantly, nine soldiers including Naib Subedar Sanobar Ali embraced shahadat, while five soldiers were injured,” it said.

The area has been cordoned off by security forces and sanitisation is being carried out to eliminate any terrorists found in the area, the ISPR said.

“The security forces of Pakistan are determined to eliminate the menace of terrorism and such sacrifices of our brave soldiers further strengthen our resolve,” the statement added.

Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has condemned the attack and expressed grief over the martyrdom of the soldiers.

Taking to social media platform X, formerly Twitter, he said: “Heartbroken by the loss of 9 valiant soldiers in Bannu Division, KP, to a cowardly terrorist act that injured many.”

The premier called such acts “utterly reprehensible” and said his thoughts were with the families of the martyred and injured. “Pakistan stands resolute against such terror,” he added.

Pakistan has witnessed an uptick in terror activities in recent months, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, after the outlawed TTP ended its ceasefire with the government in November last year.

On August 22, six soldiers embraced martyrdom in an exchange of fire in South Waziristan district, the military’s media wing said last week. At least four terrorists were killed in the gun battle.

Last month, as many as 12 soldiers of the Pakistan Army embraced martyrdom in separate military operations in the Zhob and Sui areas of Balochistan.

This was the military’s highest single-day death toll from terrorist attacks reported this year. Before this, 10 personnel were martyred in a ‘fire raid’ in Balochistan’s Kech district in February 2022.

A report released in July by the think tank Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies said the first half of the current year witnessed a steady and alarming rise in terror and suicide attacks, claiming the lives of 389 people across the country.

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