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Suicide Bombing Hits Military Convoy in NW Pakistan

A suicide bomber struck a Pakistani military convoy in a volatile northwestern region Sunday, wounding at least 11 soldiers.

Multiple official sources confirmed to VOA the attack occurred in Bannu, a garrison city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. They described the condition of at least three injured personnel as “critical.”

The army’s media wing did not immediately comment on the bombing.  

The anti-government Hafiz Gul Bahadur group, known to have close ties with neighboring Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Bannu and several adjoining Pakistani districts, including North Waziristan on the Afghan border, routinely experience militant attacks.

Pakistan alleges fugitive militants have intensified their violent campaign in the country from sanctuaries in Afghanistan since the Islamist Taliban reclaimed power there two years ago.

Officials say the violence has killed more than 2,300 Pakistanis, mostly security forces. The bloodshed has strained Islamabad’s relations with the de facto Afghan government in Kabul.

Most of the violence has been claimed by the outlawed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, an alliance of more than a dozen militant insurgent groups.

Pakistani officials say around 6,000 TTP members, including senior commanders, have taken refuge and operate freely out of Afghan soil to direct cross-border terrorism, charges Taliban authorities reject. 

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