Pakistani Taliban killed and 12 militants are killed in an attack on a hideout

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Security forces acting on intelligence raided a hideout of Pakistani Taliban insurgents along the border with Afghanistan, triggering an intense shootout that left 12 militants dead, the country’s military said Wednesday.

This pre-dawn raid occurred amid rising tensions between Pakistan and the aftermath of a massacre at a mosque last week in Peshawar that left 101 people dead. Officials in Pakistan blamed the attack on Tehreek-etaliban Pakistan (or TTP), which denies involvement.

Lakki Marwat is home to the Pakistani Taliban, which has been responsible for multiple attacks in recent weeks. Security forces launched the operation in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region overnight after having monitored the insurgents over the past week, according to a military declaration.

“Terrorists were lured in by providing a vehicle for escape that was intercepted and neutralized,” it said. According to the military, troops also had a case of weapons and ammunition as well as Afghan currency.

TTP did not immediately comment.

TTP launched an overnight operation against them, their first major confrontation since November. They had broken a long-standing ceasefire with the government for months and then resumed attacks on police and troops across the country.

The TTP is a close ally to the Afghan Taliban, but it is distinct from them. Insurgents from Pakistan have waged an insurgency against Pakistan over the past 15 years. They seek stricter Islamic laws enforcement, the release of their members in government custody, and a reduction of Pakistani military presence within the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region it has used for its base.

The majority of Pakistani Taliban are now hiding in Afghanistan. They have gained strength since the Afghan Taliban took power in Afghanistan in 2021, when NATO and the United States troops withdrew from the country after 20 years.

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