Militant Attack Across Afghan Border Kills 4 Pakistani Soldiers

Four Pakistani soldiers have been killed in two separate militant attacks in the tribal northwestern regions bordering Afghanistan, the military said on Saturday.

The deadliest of the shootings occurred in the remote Dir district where Pakistani troops were building a border fence. They came under attack from the other side; three soldiers were killed and another was injured.

In a separate incident, the militants opened fire on a routine patrolling party of the security forces in Spin Wam area. A soldier was killed in the attack, the army said, adding that the two attackers were also killed in retaliation.

The army launched a massive operation in 2014 to destroy militant bases in North Waziristan and end a near decade-long insurgency in the region.

Islamabad began the unilateral fencing of the largely porous frontier two years ago to plug hundreds of informal crossings that were encouraging terrorist infiltration in both directions.

Military officials expect the massive border project will be in place by end of next year, addressing to a large extent mutual concerns of illegal crossings of both militants and drug traffickers.

Pakistan has complained that anti-state militants linked to the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, have taken refuge in “ungoverned” Afghan border areas after fleeing Pakistani security operations and orchestrate attacks from those sanctuaries.

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