ISLAMABAD – At least four members of the Pakistani security forces were killed in an attack by the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) while the four were on patrol in the restive western city of Quetta, Pakistan.
The Frontier Corps troops were riding two motorcycles along a railway track in the Langoabad area as part of their routine patrol when unidentified attackers opened fire and killed all four, a spokesperson for the local police station, Muhammed Amir, told EFE.
The attack occurred around 8:20 am local time (0320 GMT).
Police personnel later reached the scene and transferred the four victims to a nearby hospital, where they were subsequently pronounced dead, the source added.
The TTP claimed responsibility for the action in a statement by its spokesperson, Muhammed Khurasani, saying that the attack was carried out by a contingent of the TTP Special Task Force and that the attackers left the area without harm.
This marks the first Taliban attack after Khan Sayed, the second most senior leader of the Pakistani Taliban was killed last week in a drone strike by the United States.
Between January-November 2017, 30 members of the Pakistani security forces were killed in selective crackdowns in Balochistan province, of which Quetta is the capital, and 105 others, including civilians, were killed in terrorist attacks, according to local police.
Pakistan launched an operation in the northwestern areas of the country in June 2014, during which 3,500 alleged terrorists were killed, according to unverified data provided by the Pakistani military.
The crackdown operation has considerably reduced violence in the country, with a death toll of 1,260 people from terrorist-involved incidents in 2017 – 540 civilians, 208 military personnel and 512 alleged terrorists – which is the lowest figure in a decade, according to South Asia Terrorism Portal, an online platform specialized in terrorism and warfare in South Asia.