Pakistani forces clash with militants and kill 6 fighters during a raid in the northwest

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan security forces killed six militants and wounded eight others in a shootout during an overnight raid in the country’s northwest, the military said Sunday.

Security forces conducted an intelligence-based operation in the Mir Ali area of the North Waziristan District when they exchanged fire with militants, the military said. One soldier also died and troops recovered weapons and ammunition from the militants’ hideout.

North Waziristan had served for decades as a safe haven for militants until the military carried out a major operation after an attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in 2014 killed more than 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.

After the yearslong operation, the army announced it had cleared the region of local and foreign militants. Occasional attacks have continued, however, raising concerns that the local Taliban, known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, found sanctuaries in Afghanistan and are regrouping in the area.

The Pakistani Taliban are a separate group but allies of the Afghan Taliban, which seized power in Afghanistan in 2021 as the U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their pullout after 20 years of war.