Roadside bomb kills six soldiers in Kurram as violence spirals

* Ansar-ul-Mujahideen claims responsibility * Policeman shot dead in Peshawar in sectarian violence
Roadside bomb kills six soldiers  in Kurram as violence spirals

PESHAWAR: A roadside bomb on Wednesday killed six soldiers in tribal areas, officials said, the latest violence to hit the country since a ceasefire between the government and Taliban insurgents began.
The remote-controlled device hit a convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps as it was moving from the town of Hangu to Kurram district, one of seven tribal areas along the Afghan border where militants have strongholds. A security official in Peshawar told AFP the blast killed six soldiers and wounded eight. The Ansarul Mujahideen militant group, which has been active in the tribal areas for around three years, later claimed responsibility.
The group’s spokesman Abu Baseer told AFP: “We have carried out this attack to avenge drone victims. We are not part of the Pakistani Taliban so we aren’t bound by their ceasefire.” The Pakistani Taliban announced a month-long ceasefire on Saturday in a bid to restart stalled peace talks with the government. The military halted air strikes on suspected militant hideouts in response. A major attack on a court complex in Islamabad on Monday that killed 11 has cast doubt on the ceasefire, although the Taliban denied responsibility for the attack.
Three soldiers of Frontier Corps died on the spot while as many succumbed to their wounds at a hospital in Thall city (Hangu district) after roadside improvised explosive device went off targeting the FC vehicle in Warmagal area in Kurram region, local officials told Daily Times on condition of anonymity. The FC convoy was on its way to a base in Central Kurram from Hangu District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Remote control was used to detonate the device, the officials said. They, however, declined to say who might have carried out the attack. 
Meanwhile, a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa policeman was shot dead in Peshawar in sectarian violence, police officials said. Hasan Ali was working in the communications wing of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police and was targeted on Wednesday morning in Yakatoot area of old Peshawar city. 
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday said that a durable and permanent peace was the top priority of the government for which all-out efforts would be continued. The prime minister stated this while talking to members of the government’s negotiating committee, which called on him at the Prime Minister’s House. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif directed the government negotiating committee to continue consultations, saying that efforts should be result-oriented. Talking to the members of government dialogue committee, he said efforts would be made at every level for the realisation of this objective. 

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