Pakistan says militant attack on army post kills soldier

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Militants attacked an army post Friday in Pakistan’s restive northwest, bordering Afghanistan, triggering an intense shootout that killed a soldier, the military said. The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to a military statement, the predawn attack took place in Bannu, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It said troops returned fire, but it was unclear if the attackers suffered any casualties.

In their claim of responsibility, posted on Twitter, the Pakistani Taliban did not provide further details.

Also Friday, Pakistani troops raided a militant hideout in the northwestern Miran Shah town, killing a militant and arresting two suspects, a separate military statement said.

Although militants often target security post and troops routinely carry out raids on militant hideouts, the latest violence comes a day after the Pakistani Taliban confirmed the killing over the weekend in Afghanistan of the group’s former spokesman.

The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP as the Pakistani Taliban are known, vowed to avenge his killing. The Pakistani Taliban are an umbrella group and a separate organization from the Afghan Taliban. In November, Pakistan announced a month-long cease-fire with the TTP. The group has been behind numerous attacks on security forces and civilians over the last 14 years.

The cease-fire ended on Dec. 9 and since then, the group has resumed attacks, emboldened in part by the Taliban takeover of neighboring Afghanistan.

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