Raids kill six after suicide attack on Pakistan troops

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (AFP) - At least six suspected militants were killed and 12 others were wounded on Thursday when Pakistani forces raided two hotels in the country's troubled north-west, officials said.

The raids were conducted in Mir Ali area of restive North Waziristan tribal district, a day after a suicide attack on a military checkpoint which killed at least five soldiers and wounded 34 others.

Ansarul Mujahideen, a little-known militant group linked to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.

"Pakistani security forces raided two hotels in the area close to the site of the suicide bombing and intense gun battles left six suspected militants dead and 12 others wounded," a local security official said.

Troops cordoned off the area and were carrying out a search operation to hunt down militants involved in the truck suicide bombing, he added.

Local intelligence officials confirmed the raids and casualties.

North Waziristan, one of the seven tribal districts along the Afghan border, is a hotbed for Al-Qaeda and TTP militants.

The TTP has led a bloody campaign against the Pakistani state in recent years, carrying out hundreds of attacks on security forces and government targets, mainly in the country's north-west.