Pakistani police officer, two militants killed in Islamabad clash

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A police officer has been killed and two others injured in a rare shootout in Pakistan’s capital, officials said Tuesday.

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The Monday night gun battle started when two gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on a police checkpoint in Islamabad.

“A policeman was martyred while two others were wounded,” the police said in a statement, adding both attackers were killed.

Pakistan’s interior minister has ordered an inquiry into the incident, a rare security breach in the heavily guarded capital, which is home to dozens of embassies.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Pakistan is battling a resurgence of its home-grown Taliban following the group’s return to power in Afghanistan last year.

Shahid Zaman, a senior Islamabad Police official, told AFP the incident was “an act of terrorism”.

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a separate movement that shares common roots with the Afghan group.

Pakistan’s government announced late last year it had entered a month-long truce with the TTP, facilitated by Afghanistan’s Taliban, but that expired on December 9 after peace talks failed to make progress.

The TTP has been blamed for hundreds of suicide bomb attacks and kidnappings across the country, and for awhile held sway over vast tracts of the country’s rugged tribal belt, imposing a radical version of Islamic law.

But after the 2014 massacre of nearly 150 children at a Peshawar school, the Pakistan military sent huge numbers of troops into TTP strongholds and crushed the movement, forcing its fighters to retreat to Afghanistan.

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