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Pakistani army kills 11 militants in raid in the northwest following bombing that killed 7 soldiers

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DERA ISLAMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani security forces raided a militant hideout, killing 11 in an overnight operation in a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban in the restive northwest, authorities said on Tuesday.

The intelligence-based raid was in retaliation to Sunday’s roadside bombing that killed seven soldiers in the same Lakki Marwat district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, bordering Afghanistan, the military said in a statement.

It added the operation is still ongoing “to eliminate any other terrorist found in the area” and that security forces were “determined to wipe out the menace of terrorism” in Pakistan.

No one has claimed Sunday’s attack, however, blame is likely to fall on Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, an ally of the Afghan Taliban but is a separate group. It has stepped up its assaults in the region since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in 2021.

Pakistani officials often accuse Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers of giving shelter to TTP fighters, a charge that Kabul repeatedly denies. Pakistani Taliban says it is not using Afghan soil for attacks in Pakistan.

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