PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- Pakistani troops and militants exchanged fire in a northwestern region along the border with Afghanistan in a shootout that killed two soldiers and two militants, the army said Monday.
The shootout took place late Sunday in North Waziristan, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that is a former stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban, a militant group also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP.
According to an army statement, two militants were also wounded and troops seized a cache of weapons at the site. A search operation was underway in the area, it said.
Although the Pakistani military claims it has cleared North Waziristan of militants, occasional attacks and shootouts continue, raising concerns that the Pakistani Taliban are regrouping in the area.
Though a separate group, the TTP remains a close ally of the Afghan Taliban, who seizing power in Afghanistan in mid-August 2021, during the last weeks of the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces from the country after two decades of war.
The takeover emboldened the TTP. They unilaterally ended a cease-fire agreement with the Pakistani government last November and have since stepped up their attacks in the country.