PESHAWAR -- Six police officers were killed in a Wednesday (November 16) ambush in northwest Pakistan claimed by the nation's homegrown Taliban, officials said.
Gunmen with automatic rifles launched an attack at around 7 a.m. on a police vehicle patrolling the village of Shahab Khel, 100 km from the Afghan border.
"All the six policemen were killed" under fire from both sides, said Tariqullah Khan, a district official in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
The death toll was confirmed by a second police official.
The Pakistan Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), said the police were "coming for a raid" when they were gunned down.
Its own fighters "managed to reach their base safely" after looting weapons and ammunition, it said in a statement.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif offered his condolences.
"Terrorism continues to be one of Pakistan's foremost problems," he said in a post on Twitter.
The TTP were at the height of their power in Pakistan between 2007 and 2009, when they held sway over the Swat valley just 135 km north of Islamabad.
They were pushed into Afghanistan by an army offensive after perpetrating a barbaric schoolhouse bombing that killed nearly 150 students in 2014.
Then-Prime Minister Imran Khan in October 2021 announced that the government was in talks with the group for the first time since 2014.
Past peace agreements with the TTP failed to restore peace and instead emboldened and strengthened the militant group, they said.
TTP leaders violated deals they inked in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009.
Pakistan, the United States and the United Nations have designated the TTP a terrorist organisation.
Seven years after a military crackdown on the TTP, Islamabad is now trying to quell a comeback by the group.