Sat, 16 Jan 2021

Four construction workers have been shot dead in Pakistan's volatile North Waziristan tribal area, police said on November 27.

The men, who worked for the Frontier Works Organization (FWO), an engineering branch of the Pakistani military, came under attack near the town of Mirali on November 26, police and local residents told RFE/RL.

North Waziristan police chief Shafiullah Gandapur said that the area has been cordoned off and a search operation was under way to find the assailants, who fled the scene after the attack.

Since the beginning of 2020, authorities have recorded more than 40 such attacks on security forces, government officials, and civilians in the remote area that borders Afghanistan.

North Waziristan has served as a stronghold for local and foreign militants until 2014, when Pakistan's army launched a massive military operation to clear the region of combatants.

Despite the army's claims of success, the region has continued to be the scene of violent attacks, targeted killings, and roadside bombs.

In September, two Pakistani soldiers were killed in a shoot-out with militants during a search operation in North Waziristan.

Earlier that same month, the Pakistani Taliban took responsibility for a powerful roadside bombing in the same district that targeted a military vehicle, killing three soldiers and wounding four.

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 in Afghanistan.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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