DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) – A suicide attacker rammed his explosive-laden vehicle into a military convoy in troubled northwestern Pakistan on Friday, wounding at least five soldiers in the blast, police said.
Troops killed two foreign militants in fighting in another area in the northwest, an official said.
The soldiers were traveling through the town of Tank, 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of the city of Dera Ismail Khan in the South Waziristan region, when the attacker struck, said Idrees Khan, an area police chief. He said the injured soldiers had been transported to a hospital, and body parts of bomber were being collected.
At Mir Ali, in North Waziristan, militants opened fire on troops near a checkpoint, said a local security official on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to media. Two foreign militants, including one who appeared to be an Uzbek, were killed and two others were captured, the official said.
The shootout and the bomb attack came a day after dozens of militants ambushed a military convoy in South Waziristan, triggering a shootout. Military spokesman Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad on Friday raised the death toll from that fighting, to 15 militants and seven soldiers killed. Pakistan is a key ally of the United States in its war on terror, and it has deployed about 90,000 troops in its tribal regions, including North and South Waziristan, to flush out pro-Taliban militants. Both Waziristan regions are near the Afghan border, where security officials say remnants of al-Qaida and Taliban are hiding.
There has been a surge in attacks on government forces in the tribal region since July, when militants ended a 2006 peace deal, accusing the government of violating the agreement by deploying additional troops at checkpoints in the region.