PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani security forces raided a militant hideout in a former Taliban stronghold near the border with Afghanistan Monday, triggering a shootout that killed five soldiers and four insurgents.
Acting on intelligence, security forces launched the raid in North Waziristan, a district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, according to a military statement.
North Waziristan and other former tribal regions in northwestern Pakistan were a base for the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups until the army claimed that it cleared the region of insurgents. Occasional attacks have continued, however, raising concerns the Pakistani Taliban are regrouping in the area.
The Pakistani Taliban are a separate group but allies of the Afghan Taliban, who seized power in Afghanistan a year ago as the U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout.
The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan has emboldened the Pakistani Taliban, who are currently in peace talks with the government.