“The militants opened fire at the convoy when it passed from the area and killed four security persons,” Rehan Gul Khattak, a local administration official said. – File Photo by Reuters

PESHAWAR: Four Pakistani paramilitary soldiers were killed on Monday when militants attacked their convoy in the northwestern tribal district of Khyber, officials said.

The attackers opened fire on the paramilitary convoy in the Nala area, five kilometres (three miles) west of Bara, the district headquarters of Khyber.

“The militants opened fire at the convoy when it passed from the area and killed four security persons,” Rehan Gul Khattak, a local administration official told AFP.

“The security forces fired back but the militants managed to escape,” he said.

Some 18,000 people fled their homes in Khyber last month amid fears of a fresh onslaught of fighting between the army and Islamist militants tied to the Pakistani Taliban.

In the neighbouring district of Mohmand, security forces said they killed four militants and wounded five others who were later arrested, as the group tried to enter Pakistan from across the unmarked border in Afghanistan.

Pakistan's seven tribal districts near the Afghan border are rife with homegrown insurgents and are strongholds of Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.

“Those who have been arrested were injured during the exchange of fire as the militants attacked Pakistan forces and they retaliated,” said Maqsood Hassan, a local administration official.

Security officials in Peshawar confirmed both incidents.

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