Pakistan assault by obvious Taliban offshoot kills two dozen troopers

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — An explosives-laden truck smashed into the gate of a military outpost within the early hours of the morning Tuesday in northwest Pakistan, killing 23 troopers in an assault claimed by an obvious offshoot of the Taliban.

An announcement from the military mentioned that every one the attackers had been killed and confirmed that an explosive-laden truck was used. “The ensuing blasts led to the collapse of the constructing, inflicting a number of casualties, 23 courageous troopers [died], whereas all six terrorists had been successfully engaged and despatched to hell.”

The assault was on a college getting used as a navy outpost within the Draban area of Dera Ismail Khan, in Pakistan’s lawless northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa area — lengthy a stronghold for the native model of the Taliban.

“The entire nation pays homage to the sacrifices of the martyrs within the battle in opposition to terrorism,” mentioned interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on the assault. “Such coward assaults couldn’t demoralize our forces.”

The assault was claimed by Tehreek-e-Jihad, a little-known group analysts say is an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban or not less than an ally. Social media accounts for the Taliban, which has been battling the Pakistani authorities for greater than a decade, have carried the group’s statements.

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“Our suicide bombers attacked a navy compound at 2:30 a.m. and began killing troopers one after the other. A military camp is ready up in a college. Greater than 20 troopers had been killed within the assault,” Mohammed Qassim, the group’s spokesman, mentioned in a press release.

A video launched by the group purportedly exhibits the early phases of the assault with what seems to be night-vision pictures of snipers taking pictures what it describes as Pakistani troopers on the outpost.

Photos from the scene confirmed collapsed buildings and several other badly burned our bodies mentioned to be of the attackers, in addition to their explosive belts. The military assertion mentioned that “sanitization operations” had been underway to uncover any additional terrorist presence within the space. A curfew has been declared, in the meantime, and the native market and college have been closed.

As soon as believed to be largely defeated, the Pakistani Taliban has been chargeable for a resurgence of assaults, particularly up to now few months, within the wake of their Afghan counterparts’ seizure of energy subsequent door in 2021.

Most of the assaults seem to originate from Afghanistan, although the Afghan Taliban denies it’s offering a haven for the Pakistani militants.

Within the first half of 2023, militant assaults in Pakistan soared by 80 %, in line with the Pakistan Institute for Battle and Safety Research, with the Pakistani Taliban assumed to be concerned normally.

Paul Schemm in London and Shaiq Hussain in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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