Militants attack troops in northwestern Pakistan, killing 6

Militants attacked Pakistan’s paramilitary security forces in the country’s northwest early on Wednesday, triggering a shootout in which at least six troops and three insurgents were killed, the military and police said.

Spokesman Mohammad Khurasani of the Pakistani Taliban — also known as Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, an outlawed militant group — claimed responsibility for the attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

Local police official Zahid Khan said about two dozen security personnel were also wounded in the attack, but that the paramilitary forces had apparently taken control of the situation. In a statement, the military said troops retaliated after coming under attack and killed all three insurgents involved in the assault.

The Pakistani Taliban have been emboldened since the Afghan Taliban last year seized power across the border in Afghanistan. They have stepped up attacks on Pakistani security forces since December when a month-long cease-fire between the TTP and the government ended.

Pakistani authorities say most of the fighters and leaders of the TTP are hiding in Afghanistan.