South Asia

Gunmen kill 7 customs officials in western Pakistan

File Photo.

ISLAMABAD — Seven customs officials have been killed in two separate attacks by unknown gunmen in western Pakistan, officials reported on Sunday. The incidents, which included the deaths of five officials three days ago and two more recently, occurred on a busy highway where the officials were conducting checks.

District Deputy Superintendent of Police, Muhammad Adnan, stated that in addition to the fatalities, two people were injured when the assailants opened fire during routine inspections. The area has since been cordoned off by security forces.

No group has claimed responsibility for these attacks, which began on Thursday. Police are currently investigating the incidents.

The violence comes amid worsening security conditions in the regions of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. Attacks, often claimed by the Pakistani Taliban (TTP) Islamist militant group, have increased and mostly targeted police and security personnel.

The spike in violence has heightened tensions between Pakistan and the Taliban-led administration in Afghanistan. Pakistan has accused militants of using Afghan territory for launching attacks and responded with an airstrike on Afghan soil last month.

The Taliban, however, have denied the allegations, stating that they do not allow Afghan land to be used for militant activities and attributed the security challenges in Pakistan to internal issues in Islamabad.