ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah on Wednesday condemned a bomb attack in the country’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province that claimed four lives, vowing to take “swift action” against militants.
Two soldiers, a policeman, and a civilian were killed when a suicide bomber struck at a police checkpoint in North Waziristan district, officials said. The district was a stronghold of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or the Pakistani Taliban, for several years before the army drove militants out of the territory in a large-scale military operation over five years ago.
Pakistan has seen an uptick in militant attacks across the country since a fragile truce between the TTP and the state broke down in November 2022. On Tuesday, TTP militants stormed an oil and gas plant in District Hangu in KP, killing four security troops and two private guards on duty at the facility.
No group has so far claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack.
“The martyrdom of our brave security forces is an irreparable loss for the nation,” Sanaullah said, according to a statement by Pakistan’s Ministry of Interior.
“Promising swift action against the perpetrators, the minister assured that no stone would be left unturned in bringing the terrorists to justice,” the ministry added.
Sanaullah warned militants that those involved in the attack would meet their fate soon. “We will take full account of each martyrdom caused by the terrorists,” he added.
Though a separate group, the TTP remains a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who took over Afghanistan in August 2021 following the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from the country after two decades of war.
As emboldened TTP militants conduct attacks against Pakistan, relations between Islamabad and Kabul have taken a hit in recent months. Pakistan has urged Afghanistan’s interim government to rein in TTP militants and restrain them from using Afghan soil to carry out attacks in Pakistan.
The Taliban government has reacted strongly to Islamabad’s repeated threats to carry out cross-border action against TTP members, warning Pakistan to desist from escalating tensions between the two countries.