A roadside bomb killed at least eight soldiers and wounded several others in a restive Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan on Thursday, the military said.
The bomb exploded as a military convoy passed in the village of Ghulamkhan in troubled North Waziristan, one of seven lawless tribal districts where Taliban and Al-Qaida linked militants have hideouts.
“At least eight security forces personnel embraced martyrdom in an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) blast which had been planted by terrorists on Miranshah-Ghulamkhan road,” the military said in a statement.
“Several security forces personnel are critically injured.”
Local military officials confirmed the incident and said troops called in air support and launched a search operation in the area after the attack.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack but the area is a stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban.
The attack comes two weeks after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) formally ended a ceasefire called to help peace talks with the government.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government began negotiations with the TTP through intermediaries in February in the hope of ending their bloody seven-year insurgency.
Since the TTP rose up against the Pakistani state in 2007, more than 6,800 people have been killed in bomb and gun attacks around Pakistan, according to an AFP tally.
Elsewhere in North Waziristan, fresh infighting between rival TTP factions left at least 10 militants dead and 15 more wounded, sources said.
Clashes have been raging intermittently for over a month between supporters of Khan Said Sajna, a senior commander once tipped to lead the group, and those of former leader Hakimullah Mehsud, who was killed by a U.S. drone last November.
The latest violence came in the Shawal area of the district, where a shootout on Tuesday killed at least 12 militants.