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Militant attacks claim more lives in Pakistan, Afghanistan

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 arrive at the site of a bombing in Quetta on November 25, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

More than a dozen people have been killed in attacks carried out by militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan, officials say.

A roadside bomb claimed the lives of at least three soldiers in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday. 

A senior Pakistani security official, whose name was not mentioned in news reports, said the bombing took place in the village of Ghulam Khan in North Waziristan, which borders Afghanistan. "Three soldiers ... were martyred in an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blast in Ghulam Khan." The soldiers were searching for bombs to clear the area for the passage of a convoy. Local intelligence officials also confirmed the deadly incident and casualties.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it had the hallmarks of the Taliban militants who are operating across the violence-hit region. 

A curfew has been imposed in the area as security forces search for the militants who planted the bomb.

Despite frequent offensives by the Pakistani army, acts of terror by militants continue to target security forces as well as civilians.

Thousands of Pakistanis have lost their lives in bombings and other militant attacks since 2001, when Pakistan entered into an alliance with the United States in Washington’s so-called war on terror. Thousands more have been displaced by the wave of violence sweeping the country.

Bomb, mortar attacks kill 10 civilians in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, a member of the council of Helmand province said a roadside bomb on Sunday had killed seven civilians and injured three others. The deadly incident was also confirmed by Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.

An Afghan resident stands at a damaged house after a car bomb attack in Kandahar province on December 17, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Elsewhere in Logar province, a mortar struck a market, killing three civilians and wounding seven others.

Salim Saleh, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said the attack was carried out during a battle between Afghan security forces and the Taliban militants.

A probe is underway to determine whether the mortar round was fired by Afghan forces or the militants.

Afghanistan is engulfed by violence and many parts of the country remain plagued by militancy despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops. The United States and its NATO allies invaded the country as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror in 2001, which toppled the Taliban.

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