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Three Pakistani Paramilitary Troops Killed in Militant Attack

At least three members of Pakistan's paramilitary forces have been killed and three others wounded in a clash with militant attackers in the South Waziristan tribal district of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province that borders Afghanistan, police said on June 30.

“Unidentified terrorists attacked a [Frontier Constabulary] check post” in the town of Tiarza on June 29 resulting in a clash that continued until the early hours of June 30, district police chief Shaukat Ali told RFE/RL.

A joint search operation of the police and the paramilitary force has begun, he added.

The Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), known as the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the late-night attack.

Militant attacks have recently increased in the tribal district bordering Afghanistan, the police chief said.

Earlier this week, gunmen shot dead three former Taliban militants who had surrendered to the government. The gunmen targeted the vehicle of the former Taliban in Sarwakai town, police told Radio Mashaal on June 29.

In a separate incident in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, five people, including women and children, were killed on June 29 in the accidental explosion of an artillery shell found by children, prompting a protest by dozens of political and civil society activists, who blocked the highway leading to the Torkham border crossing into Afghanistan.

The children had brought the unexploded mortar shell home to recycle it, Sharif Mulagori, a police officer in the town of Landi Kotal told RFE/RL on June 30.

Five other people were wounded in the explosion in Landi Kotal, rescue services told RFE/RL.

All victims are members of the same family.

The protesters who blocked the highway on June 30 demanded that the government launch an investigation into why unexploded mortar shells are still scattered in the area despite official claims that they recently had cleared unexploded ordnance.

The Pakistani military has carried out several operations against militants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The last operation ended in August 2017 but landmines and mortar shells left behind still kill and maim dozens of people, mostly children.