Aug 16, 5:54 AM EDT

Pakistani police: Militants kill police officer in northwest


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PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- Pakistani police say militants riding on motorcycles have shot and killed a junior police officer in an attack in the country's northwest, before fleeing.

Local police chief Abdul Rahman says Wednesday's drive-by shooting took place in the town of Bannu, which is not far away from the troubled North Waziristan tribal region.

He says the slain officer was passing through a bazar on his motorcycle when the assailants targeted him.

A Taliban splinter group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, claimed responsibility shortly after the attack. Asad Mansoor, the group's spokesman, gave no further details.

Pakistan has carried out several military offenses against militants in Bannu and elsewhere in recent years but the violence has continued unabated.

Bannu is located about 250 kilometers, or 150 miles, south of the city of Peshawar.

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