Pakistani Taliban claim multiple overnight attacks on police

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The Pakistani Taliban targeted police in multiple attacks overnight in the capital, Islamabad, and the country’s restive northwest. Three policemen and three assailants were killed in the shootouts, police and a militant spokesman said Tuesday.

The first attack took place in Islamabad late Monday, raising fears that insurgents have a presence in one of the country’s safest cities. An officer and two assailants were killed in that attack.

Later, two policemen were killed in attacks in the districts of Dir and North Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan, authorities said.

Mohammad Khurasani, spokesman for the outlawed Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan as the Pakistani Taliban are known, posted the group’s claim of responsibility on Twitter. He said one of the fighters died in the attack in northwestern Bajur district.

Pakistan’s interior minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, attended the funeral Tuesday of the police officer killed in Islamabad. Ahmed said both of the slain militants involved in the attack have been identified.

Although militants often target security forces in Pakistan, the country’s capital has largely been peaceful in recent years. The Pakistani Taliban, who have been emboldened since the Afghan Taliban seized power across the border in Afghanistan, warned Tuesday they could carry out more attacks on Pakistani security forces in the near future.

Later, a military statement said Pakistani security forces in an operation Tuesday in the northwestern district of North Waziristan killed two militants. It said the slain militants were involved in past attacks on security forces, kidnappings for ransom and targeted killings.