Six Pakistani soldiers were killed after militants from Afghanistan attacked several border posts in the country’s restive northwest tribal region, the army said today. After the attacks, Pakistan lodged a protest with Afghanistan and urged the government there to thoroughly investigate the incidents and take firm action against the terrorists operating from its soil to prevent recurrence of such incidents. The attackers targeted border outpost in Mohmand and Khyber tribal region along the border with Afghanistan yesterday.
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“The terrorists from across the border last night attempted physical attack on three posts in Mohmand,” Military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor said.
“Effective presence, vigilance and response repulsed terrorists attempt. In exchange of fire 5 soldiers were killed,” Ghafoor said.
Ten of the attackers were also believed to have been killed, he said.
Foreign Office (FO) spokesman Nafees Zakaria said another soldier was killed in Khyber as the result of firing by terrorists from Afghan territory, prompting Islamabad to launch a strong protest with Afghanistan.
A Pakistani Taliban breakaway faction, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
“Afghan Deputy Head of Mission was called to the Foreign Office today for conveying Pakistan’s grave concern over the incident,” he said.
“It was further emphasised that cooperation from Afghan side for effective border management was important for preventing cross-border movement of terrorists and militants,” Zakaria said.
“There is the need for required physical presence on Afghan side of the border for matching and effective border security,” Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa said.
“Terrorists are common threat and must be denied freedom of movement/action along the border,” Bajwa said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack by terrorists while appreciating the ultimate sacrifice by soldiers.
“The soldiers who sacrificed their life are our real heroes and the nation promises to honour them by standing firm against terrorists nefarious designs to hit at our way of life,” he said.
Last month, the Army has killed more than 100 suspected terrorists and also handed over to Afghanistan a list of 76 terrorists hiding across the border.