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Pakistan kills seven militants in shootout near Afghan border

WT24 Desk

ISLAMABAD– Pakistani security forces killed seven militants in a firefight after insurgents crossed the Afghan border into Pakistan’s restive tribal region, the military said Tuesday, AFP reports.

Officials said the clashes erupted late Monday when militants attacked a Pakistani border post in North Waziristan tribal district.

“During (the) exchange of fire seven terrorists (were) killed while three (were) injured,” the military said in a statement.

Violence in Pakistan has declined dramatically in recent years following a series of military operations along the northwestern border with Afghanistan, but militant groups are still able to carry out deadly attacks.

Pakistan’s army launched a massive operation in 2014 to wipe out militant bases in North Waziristan and end the near decade-long insurgency that has cost thousands of lives.

The operation intensified after the Taliban massacred more than 150 people, the majority of them children, at a school in the northwestern city of Peshawar in December 2014.

In 2016, the Pakistani army claimed to have cleared the last militant stronghold in the country’s northwest after a three-month long operation.

But analysts have long warned that Pakistan is not tackling the root causes of extremism, and that militants retain the ability to carry out spectacular attacks.

A suicide blast in the southwestern province of Balochistan on July 13 killed at least 149 people during a campaign rally — one of Pakistan’s worst-ever terror attacks — underscoring continuing security challenges in
the country following years of dramatic improvements.

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