South Asia

Bomb blast in northwestern Pakistan kills seven soldiers, army says

File photo.

A bomb blast targeting a military truck killed seven soldiers on Sunday in northwestern Pakistan along the border with Afghanistan, the army reported.

The incident occurred in the Lakki Marwat district, which borders a lawless tribal region straddling both sides of the border. An improvised explosive device detonated near the military vehicle, killing seven soldiers, including an officer, according to an army statement.

“The perpetrators of this heinous act will be brought to justice,” the statement said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The tribal region has long served as a safe haven for Islamist militants who operate across the border. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), an umbrella group of Islamist and sectarian militant organizations, has been waging a war against the Pakistani state, seeking to establish an Islamic state governed by its strict interpretation of Islam.

Islamabad claims that TTP leaders have taken refuge in neighboring Afghanistan, where they operate camps to train militants for attacks inside Pakistan. Kabul has previously dismissed rising violence in Pakistan as a domestic issue for Islamabad.

Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have deteriorated in recent months, with Islamabad accusing Kabul of failing to adequately address militant groups targeting Pakistan.