ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Gunmen killed six soldiers and a policeman on Monday at a riverside military encampment in eastern Pakistan, an area where violence is rare, and the Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
“A small rescue party had camped on the bank of (a) river to search for the body of a drowned/missing pilot,” the military said in a statement.
“Early this morning, several unknown assailants opened fire on the rescue party, which resulted in the shahadat (martyrdom) of six security forces personnel.”
The Pakistan Taliban said its followers were responsible for the killings and threatened to carry out further attacks.
“We warn the government that our attacks will continue everywhere in Pakistan, particularly in Punjab,” Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
Police said the gunmen drove to the encampment in Wazirabad, 100 km (60 miles) north of Lahore, in a car and two motorcycles and fled after the shooting.
Such attacks are more common in northwest Pakistan, home to the Taliban and several other militant groups, but rare in Punjab, a relatively affluent part of the country. Some extremist groups are based in the poorer southern part of Punjab, but are not known to attack security forces.
Reporting by Qasim Nauman in Islamabad and Jibran Ahmad in Peshawar,; editing by Ron Popeski and Tim Pearce