Peshawar, Dec 12: At least 23 soldiers were killed on Tuesday when militants linked to a Pakistani Taliban affiliate rammed an explosive-laden truck into a security forces’ post in restive Khyber-Paktunkhwa’s Dera Ismail Khan district, the army said.
The Inter-Services Public Relations – the media wing of the army – said that the terrorists rammed the explosive-laden vehicle after their attempts to gain entry were ‘effectively thwarted’ in the unruly Dera Ismail Khan district bordering the South Waziristan tribal district.
The attack was followed by another suicide attack, leading to the collapse of the building, causing multiple casualties.
At least 23 soldiers were killed as a group of six terrorists attacked the security forces’ post in Dera Ismail Khan’s Daraban area in the early hours of December 12, the army said.
All the attackers were killed by the security forces while fresh contingents of police were rushed to the site, and a subsequent search operation was launched, officials said.
The Tehrik-e-Jihad Pakistan (TJP), a newly formed militant group that is an affiliate of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), claimed responsibility for the attack. TJP spokesperson Mullah Qasim termed the attack a ”suicide mission” (Fidayein).
The toll is expected to rise as several injured are critical, police said.
An emergency was declared in district hospitals while all schools and colleges were closed due to the attack.
The terror organisation has been behind some major attacks in Pakistan. On November 4, the TJP militants attacked the Pakistan Air Force’s Mianwali Training Air Base, some 300 km from Lahore, damaging three grounded aircraft. All the attackers were killed in the army operation, which came a day after 17 soldiers were killed in three separate terror strikes in the country.
In July this year, the TJP militants attacked Zhob Garrison in the restive Balochistan province, killing four soldiers and wounding five others.
Pakistan has been facing a rise in violence in the wake of the Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan in August 2021.
Throughout this year, terrorists and separatists have been targeting security forces in Pakistan.
The terrorists have repeatedly attacked the security and military installations in Pakistan.
In September 2015, Taliban gunmen killed 29 people, including 16 praying in a mosque, when they stormed Badaber air base, close to the northwestern city of Peshawar. It was the deadliest Taliban attack on a military installation in Pakistan’s history. Among those killed were 22 serving officials of the Pakistan Air Force, four civilians and three army soldiers responding to the attack. The 13 gunmen were also killed in the attack.
In May 2011, 15 terrorists belonging to TTP and Al Qaeda attacked PNS Mehran, the headquarters of the Pakistan Navy’s Naval Air Arm, located in Sindh and killed 18 military personnel and wounded 16. Two American-built surveillance aircraft were also destroyed.–(PTI)