PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) – A roadside bomb hit a Pakistani army convoy near a Taliban stronghold, killing three soldiers and wounding another six, the army said Saturday.
Assailants detonated the bomb Friday evening as the convoy rolled through a village near the Swat valley, an army spokesman said. He requested anonymity, citing policy.
Pakistan’s military has vowed to reinvigorate the efforts of thousands of soldiers stationed in Swat, a formerly peaceful region where Taliban militants have gained ground during 18 months of fighting.
The valley is separate from the tribal regions along the Afghan border where Taliban and al-Qaida sanctuaries are under attack from Pakistani troops and unmanned U.S. aircraft.
Taliban guerrillas have destroyed scores of girls schools in Swat, driven out moderate community leaders and set up their own courts in a bid to impose Islamic law.
Washington is pressing Pakistan to stay focused on combating militant groups supporting the insurgency in Afghanistan, despite tension with India over the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Pakistan has moved some troops from the northwest to the border with India.
India blames Pakistan-based militants for the November attacks, which killed 164 people. The United States and Britain have urged Islamabad to make good on a pledge to bring any Pakistanis implicated in the bloodshed to justice.
Pakistan’s Interior Ministry chief, Rehman Malik, said late Friday that detectives have finished evaluating information about the attacks provided by India.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said he planned to share the investigators’ report with India once it has been vetted by legal experts.
Pakistan’s ambassador to Britain said Friday that the investigators had concluded that the Mumbai attacks were not planned on Pakistani soil.