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At Least Nine Security Forces Killed In Northwest Pakistan

Army soldiers are silhouetted by artillery smoke while firing towards militant targets in Mohmand district (file photo).

Pakistani officials say at least nine security forces personnel have been killed in two separate attacks in the northwestern Mohmand district.

Local officials say two members of the Khasadar force of tribal police died in Darwazgai Yaka Ghund area early on February 18 when militants attacked a security checkpoint.

Seven other personnel of the Khasadar force were killed in an attack against a checkpoint in Post Pandiali area.

A breakaway faction of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Jamat ul-Ahrar, has taken responsibility for both attacks.

Mohmand is one of several districts that make up Pakistan's tribal belt near the Afghan border where the military has been battling Al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants for more than a decade.

Last month, Taliban gunmen stormed a university in the northwestern town of Charsadda, killing 21 students and teachers. The four attackers were all killed in a shoot-out with police.