MIRAMSHAH, July 30: Militants renewed their attacks on security forces in the North Waziristan Agency on Monday, killing six soldiers and wounding five others, while a Cobra helicopter fired rockets on a suspected car in Bakakhel area of the adjacent Frontier Region, officials and residents said.
Witnesses said that the helicopter attacked the car which was following an army convoy in the Bakakhel area. The convoy comprising several vehicles was going from Mirali to the Bannu district.
The driver of the car had been warned to keep away from the convoy, but he ignored the warning. The helicopter fired rockets destroying the car. The witnesses said that four people had jumped out of the car before it was hit by the rockets. They said that troops also had fired several shots to warn the driver against coming close to the convoy.
A truck coming behind the convoy was also hit and its driver Samar Gul was injured. He was taken to a hospital in Bannu.
Cobra helicopters have been providing air cover to army convoys in the troubled region following recent suicide attacks on security forces. About 40 army and paramilitary soldiers have been killed and 52 wounded in suicide and rocket attacks in North Waziristan in July.
Militants scrapped a peace deal with the government early this month, intensifying tension in the agency bordering Afghanistan. They have linked revival of the deal with the removal of troops from check-posts, but the government has rejected this demand.
An improvised device went off close to the Mashes camp near Miramshah killing three paramilitary soldiers. The soldiers were bringing water from a nearby watercourse when the bomb exploded.
On Sunday night, the paramilitary headquarters in Miramshah had come under rocket attack. Sources said that one rocket hit the nearby airstrip and another a tube-well near the base. Four paramilitary soldiers were wounded.
Three paramilitary soldiers were killed and another was injured when a convoy hit a roadside bomb near Thall picket on Monday. The convoy was going from Dosali area to Bannu.
Paramilitary forces responded with artillery fire and pounded suspected locations in the area. Miramshah bazaar remained closed and security forces blocked the Bannu-Miramshah road at Eisha check-post.
AFP adds: A helicopter gunship fired on a suspicious car that was following an army convoy near the Afghan border on Monday, killing four suspected militants, officials said.
“The army spotted the car and ordered them to stop and they ignored the warning. They were fired on by a helicopter escorting the convoy,” a local security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
“Four people inside the car were killed, they are suspected militants.”
Our Bajaur correspondent adds: A post of the paramilitary Bajaur Scouts in Badan Kot area of the Bajaur Agency came under rocket attack on Sunday night.
Residents said that five rockets hit residential compounds. Security forces returned fire. No casualty has been reported.