SOUTH WAZIRISTAN AGENCY (AGENCIES)- At least five soldiers were killed and 34 others injured when a suicide bomber rammed his explosive-laden car into a military checkpoint in North Waziristan Agency on Wednesday.
Locals said the attack took place at Khajori checkpoint near a mosque, about three kilometres east of Miranshah and an entry point of Mir Ali.
“The checkpoint has been completely destroyed and 34 injured security personnel have also been shifted to CMH Bannu,” a source said. He added that security personnel were still removing bodies from the checkpoint.
Another security official confirmed the toll, adding that out of the 34 injured, 28 were soldiers and six from the Frontier Corps.
“Four security officials embraced shahadat (martyrdom) and 25 were wounded when a suicide bomber hit his explosive-laden car into the mosque of Tejori checkpoint, some three kilometers east of Miranshah,” local sources told The Nation.
Ansarul Mujaheedin, a faction of TTP claimed responsibility for the attack and termed it a revenge of Hakeemullah Mehsud, the slain commander of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan.
“It is revenge for the killing of Hakimullah Mehsud by a US drone,” Abu Baseer, a purported spokesman of the group told a foreign news agency by telephone.
“We will continue such attacks in future as drones continue to kill our people,” he said.
A senior security official told AFP that “a truck laden with explosives was rammed into the checkpoint when security officials were offering evening prayers”.
As a result, “five soldiers embraced shahadat (martyrdom)”, the official said.
“The checkpoint has been completely destroyed and 34 injured security personnel have also been recovered,” he said, revising an earlier toll of 4 people dead and 25 injured.
“Security personnel are still removing bodies from the checkpoint,” he added.
The army imposed a curfew in the area after the attack, said intelligence sources. Another source said at least six government troops were killed.
Taliban attacks have been on the rise in Pakistan since Sharif came to power in a May election. The insurgents elected a new leader, Mullah Fazlullah, last month after its previous chief was killed in a US drone strike.