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Taliban militants gun down 9 security forces in NW Pakistan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Pakistani soldiers examine seized automatic weapons as they are displayed for media in Peshawar on January 27, 2016. (AFP photo)

Taliban militants have shot dead at least nine Pakistani security forces personnel in two separate attacks across a volatile tribal region near the Afghan border, officials say.

Naveed Akbar, a local administration official, said on Thursday that at least seven paramilitary forces lost their lives when militants ambushed a village checkpost in the volatile Mohmand Agency, which is located about 177 km (110 miles) from the capital Islamabad.

Separately, two members of paramilitary force on guard duty were gunned down by a group of militants in the same volatile region, the official added.  

"The attacks came at around 1:00 am. It was pitch black and the policemen were caught unaware. The militants struck suddenly and killed them without giving them a chance to fight back," the official said.  

Meanwhile, the Jamaat-ur-Ahrar faction of the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Pakistan’s tribal regions, located near the country’s border with neighboring Afghanistan, have been dealing with militancy over the past years.

In recent months, Taliban militants have launched a series of deadly attacks against the government forces and civilians across the troubled northwestern region.

Pakistani students look at a blood-splattered room at Bacha Khan university following an attack in Charsadda, about 50 kilometers from Peshawar, on January 20, 2016. (AFP photo)

On January 20, four gunmen attacked Bacha Khan University campus in Charsadda District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, killing more than 20 people. Pro-Taliban militants later claimed responsibility for the assault.

On December 16, 2014, a group of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants mounted an attack against Peshawar’s Army School, where more than 150 people, mostly children, were massacred. The massacre shocked and outraged the country already scarred by nearly a decade of attacks.

Pro-Taliban militants in Pakistan (file photo)

According to Pakistani officials, more than 3,100 pro-Taliban militants have been killed since the army intensified military operations against militants following the school attack. 

Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since Islamabad entered an alliance with the US in the so-called war on terror in 2001.

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