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militants kill 3 officers in northwestern Pakistan

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Militants shot and killed three policemen on the outskirts of the Pakistani city of Peshawar, authorities said, the latest violence in the restive northwest region bordering Afghanistan.

Chief Operations Superintendent Kashif Aftab Abbasi said the three officers died while pursuing militants who had earlier attacked a police station with hand grenades, sniper rifles and automatic weapons in Sarband, near Peshawar.

The illegal group Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TTP, on Saturday claimed responsibility for attacking the police station the day before and killing the officers.

The TTP has led an insurgency in Pakistan for the past 15 years, fighting for stricter enforcement of Islamic laws in the country, the release of its government-detained members and a reduction in the Pakistani military presence in former tribal areas. from the country.

They also claimed responsibility for an attack on Friday at a police checkpoint in Taunsa district of Punjab that killed two officers.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan said the central government was deeply concerned about the deterioration of public order in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where Peshawar is located.

He criticized local authorities for not learning from previous assaults, including a takeover by militants and a hostage situation at a counter-terrorism department in Bannu district.

“Terrorists are attacking police stations, police and officers are being targeted,” Khan said. “It seems that the provincial government has not learned any lessons even from the headquarters of Bannu CTD,” he said, referring to the counter-terrorism department seized by the militants.

He said the local chief minister’s priority was politics and not peace and, even with the local police not immune to attack, he asked what would happen to the safety of ordinary people.

The TTP stepped up its attacks on security forces after unilaterally ending a ceasefire with the Pakistani government in November.

The group is separate but allied with the Afghan Taliban.

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