Two police officers were murdered and six others were injured in strikes in northern Pakistan near Afghanistan on Saturday, police said, as local Taliban militants agreed to a month-long ceasefire after discussions with the government.
The officers were killed near the border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where they were stationed at a reservoir, by an improvised explosive device.
“Two police officers were killed in an IED blast around 10 a.m. (0500 GMT),” said Abdul Samad Khan, a senior police officer in the Bajaur area.
Another incident occurred on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, injuring a police officer as well as five others, including a small child and three women.
According to Ali Raza, a senior police official, the explosives were hidden on a motorcycle with the intention of attacking a police patrol in the area.
A spokesman for the local Taliban denied responsibility for the strikes, insisting the terrorist group will adhere to the ceasefire.
The Pakistani Taliban, also known as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), are distinct from the Afghan Taliban, who reclaimed control of the country in August. For years, the TTP has campaigned to overthrow the government in Islamabad and rule the 220 million-strong South Asian nation under its own version of Islamic Sharia law.
There have been countless failed attempts in the past to negotiate a peace deal. Following the Afghan Taliban’s triumph, the latest round of talks began. With the help of Afghan Taliban leaders, the two sides have been meeting across the Afghan border.
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