PESHAWAR: Suicide bombers attacked a military checkpost in Pakistan’s troubled northwest on Saturday, killing 13 soldiers and 11 civilians, officials said, in an assault claimed by the Taliban.
“Thirteen security personnel and 11 civilians were killed in the attack,” a security official said of the raid which happened around 240 kilometres south of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.
Another official said that the civilians were killed when one of the suicide bombers ran into a house as security forces attempted to repel the attackers from the checkpost.
“A suicide bomber entered a nearby house in a residential colony of the irrigation department and blew himself up. Four children, three women and four men were killed there,” said Nisar Ahmed, a senior government official.
He said four houses were also damaged in the attack.
“The explosion damaged four houses in the colony. Civilians who were killed in the attack were residents of these houses,” he said.
The security official said that eight soldiers were injured also.
The attack was on a joint checkpost of the Pakistan army and a paramilitary force in the Serai Naurang area of Lakki Marwat district.
Another security official in Peshawar said security forces killed 12 militants.
The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed the attack but disputed 12 militants were killed, saying they had sent only four suicide bombers.
“We sent only four suicide bombers to attack this checkpost. We attacked it to avenge the killing of two of our friends in a recent drone strike,” said Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for the TTP.
Ehsan added that the attack was in revenge of Pakistan’s “assistance to the US for drone strikes.”