Pakistani security forces have killed at least 17 pro-Taliban militants in the country’s northwestern tribal region.
Officials said on Saturday that the militants were killed in Khyber Agency’s Bara town when Pakistani forces responded to attacks by the members of the pro-Taliban Tehreek-i-Taliban and Lashkare-e-Islam groups at a security check-post overnight.
“Our forces had responded to a joint attack by these two militant outfits. We are now handing over these dead bodies to the local administration for identification,” a senior security official said.
Reports say about 60 militants attacked the check-post, near the border with Afghanistan, late Friday. The militants left the bodies of those killed behind and reportedly fled the area.
The violence came hours after members of the pro-Taliban groups announced they would send forces to assist local militants fighting against security forces.
In a separate incident, three members of a local peace committee backed by the government were killed in a bomb explosion in the same area.
Earlier, the United States Department of Defense released a report called Progress Towards Security and Stability in Afghanistan, accusing Pakistan of providing a safe haven for pro-Taliban militants in the region.
Islamabad has been fighting militant groups in the northwestern region of the country since 2004.