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Mar 17, 3:26 AM EDT

Militant attacks target Pakistani security forces, 3 killed


PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) -- A pair of suicide bombers attacked a Pakistani training facility belonging to the country's frontier troops early on Friday, killing an officer, while an overnight cross-border attack in the Khyber tribal region killed two troops, officials said.

According to Liaquat Ali Khan, the commandant of the Frontier Constabulary, the attackers sneaked into the training facility in northwestern Pakistan to try to "cause maximum casualties."

Over 70 recruits were staying at the facility, located near the town of Charsadda. Khan said the guards quickly responded and a shootout with the attackers set off their explosives' vests. One of the guards died in the explosion while two officers were wounded, he added.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

Hours earlier, in the Khyber tribal region, the cross-border attack late Thursday left two Pakistani soldiers and six suspected militants dead, a military statement said.

Asad Mansoor, a spokesman for the Jamaat-ul-Ahrar breakaway faction of Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the group's fighters targeted the army post and warning of more such attacks.

Later Friday, the military said it had launched airstrikes in the Khyber region the previous night after receiving intelligence about the presence of a local militant leader, Mangal Bagh. Several suspects were killed, it added, providing no further details. It did not elaborate on the fate of Bagh, who has escaped such airstrikes in recent years.

Pakistani militant have carried out numerous attacks in the country over the last decade, killing thousands of people, including police and paramilitary forces.

The country's boundary with neighboring Afghanistan is especially volatile and Islamabad claims many of the attacks in Pakistan are orchestrated from militant safe havens next door. After a string of suicide attacks killed more than 125 people in Pakistan last month, Islamabad closed the Pakistan-Afghan border indefinitely.

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Associated Press Writer Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed to this report.

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