Seven security personnel, including three police officers and a captain of the Frontier Corps, were killed when militants ambushed a security forces convoy near Malakand division, where the Pakistan army is conducting operations against the Taliban.
The convoy was ambushed at Natyan in Mardan district and reinforcements were rushed to the area after the attack. The attack triggered an operation that continued till late on Thursday night.
Seven security personnel including Deputy Superintendent of Police Farid Hussain Bangash, Station House Officer Sherullah Khan, Assistant Sub-Inspector Hanan Khan and a captain of the paramilitary Frontier Corps were killed during the skirmish. Reports said a militant was killed and several others were injured.
Over 20 security personnel were also injured in the clash. The militants carried out the ambush in an area between Mardan and Buner district, where the army is conducting operations against the Taliban. This was the first major attack in Mardan after the army captured several Taliban strongholds in Swat and nearby areas.
The convoy was transporting police and Frontier Corps personnel to Buner to strengthen the fragile peace in the district. Reinforcements sent from Ambela region in Buner district too were attacked by militants at Haji Baba Kandao, resulting in injuries to three security personnel, reports said.
The Pakistan army has claimed it has killed nearly 1,300 militants in operations against the Taliban in Buner, Dir and Swat districts in the North West Frontier Province. Close to 100 security personnel have also lost their lives in the campaign.