DERA ISMAIL KHAN: A faction of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has claimed responsibility for Tuesday’s killing of two military officers in Karachi, a spokesperson for the militant group said.

The killings were the latest attacks in the busy port city of 20 million people, where paramilitary forces have been cracking down on militants and criminal gangs for almost three years.

The officers were killed as they were on the Pakistani Taliban faction’s “target list”, Ehsan Ullah Ehsan, the spokesperson for the group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, said late on Tuesday. Gunmen attacked the vehicle carrying the soldiers, who belonged to an intelligence agency, while they were patrolling a crowded area of the city, police had said.

The crackdown has boosted security in Karachi, although in recent months, a popular Sufi musician, Amjad Sabri, was shot dead and the son of the provincial chief justice was kidnapped, but later rescued.

According to the ISPR, the deceased personnel were identified as Sepoy Abdul Razzaq and Lance Naik Khadim Hussain.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif strongly condemned the terrorist attack on military personnel.

“The prime minister has directed the ministry of interior and government of Sindh to hunt down the attackers. We will not allow these terrorists to derail the ongoing operation for restoration of peace in Karachi,” a statement issued by the PM’s office quoted him as saying.

Meanwhile, Sindh IG AD Khawaja took notice of the attack and directed the AIG Karachi to submit a comprehensive report on the incident.