PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Security forces raided two militant hideouts in a former insurgent stronghold in Pakistan’s northwest Thursday, triggering shootouts that left three soldiers and two insurgents dead, the military said.
The separate raids took place in the North Waziristan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and one of the slain militants was a bomb-making expert, the military said in a statement. It provided no further details and the identity and nationality of the slain militants were not known.
North Waziristan served as a headquarters of the Pakistani Taliban until the military secured it in 2015 with a series of operations. However, isolated militant attacks on troops have continued, raising fears the Taliban are regrouping in the northwestern regions bordering Afghanistan.
The Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, are a separate insurgent group from the Afghan Taliban, although Pakistan’s militant groups are often interlinked with those across the border.