PESHAWAR, Pakistan: The Pakistani Taliban targeted security forces in a northwestern province in Pakistan on Thursday, killing two officers and a guard at a nearby bank, authorities said.
The attack took place near a fruit market in the town of Mingora, located in the district of Swat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to senior local police officer Shafiullah Khan.
Police cordoned off the area and were searching for the three attackers who had fled the scene.
The Pakistani Taliban — also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP — claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to the media.
Thursday’s attack followed a shootout on Sunday between Pakistani troops and militants in North Waziristan, also a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The region is a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban.
Although the Pakistani military claims it has cleared the region of militants, occasional attacks and shootouts continue, raising concerns that the Pakistani Taliban are regrouping in the area.
Though a separate group, the TTP remains a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who seizing power in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, during the last weeks of the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from the country after two decades of war.
The takeover emboldened the TTP. They unilaterally ended a cease-fire agreement with the Pakistani government last November and have since stepped up attacks across the country.