At least three people were killed and over dozen wounded during a clash between security forces and a nationalist movement in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, ONA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
According to the army, the clash occurred in the Boyya area of North Waziristan near the Afghan border when a group allegedly led by Mohsin Javed Dawar and Ali Wazir assaulted an army checkpoint.
"The group wanted to exert pressure to release terrorists, facilitators recently arrested by security forces," said a statement by Inter-Services Public Relations, the army’s media arm.
Five army soldiers were injured by direct fire, while an exchange of gunfire left three individuals who attacked the post dead and 10 injured, the statement added
All the injured were taken to army hospitals in Miran Shah and Bannu.
The army arrested Wazir along with eight other Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM) activists, while Mohsin Dawar is at large. Anadolu Agency was unable to reach Dawar or Wazir for comment.
Locals said mobile service has been suspended in the wake of the clashes, along with a curfew.
Dawar and Wazir are both members of parliament representing the PTM, an ethnic nationalist movement in northwestern and southwestern Pashtun-populated areas championing Pashtun rights.
The group was launched after the January 2018 killing of Naqeebullah Mehsud, a young tribal aspiring artist, in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city.
Dawar and Wazir, the group's leaders, took part in general elections last July and won two seats in the National Assembly from Waziristan.
On April 29, Pakistan army spokesman Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor accused the PTM of getting funds from foreign intelligence agencies, saying this crossed a red line.
"We have details that Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies transferred funds to the PTM on several occasions " Ghafoor told reporters.