Updated: 07/18/2014 14:15 | By Agence France-Presse

Nine security personnel killed in Pakistan unrest

At least eight paramilitaries were killed in a gunfight with militants in Pakistan's restive northwest early on Friday, while a policeman died when a hidden bomb exploded in a city centre.

Nine security personnel killed in Pakistan unrest

Pakistani troops patrol near the site of an attack by militants on a security convoy in the village of Ghundai in Khyber tribal district on July 18, 2014 - by A Majeed

The gunfight -- which also left five militants dead -- occurred near Peshawar, the capital of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan.

The paramilitaries, who served with the Frontier Corps (FC), came under fire by militants in the Jamrud area of the Khyber tribal district around 1:00am local time (2000 GMT Thursday), a senior security official told AFP.

"A team of FC was moving to counter the militants on a tip off but they became under fire beforehand. At least eight security persons and five militants were killed in an exchange of fire," the official said.

The official added that a paramilitary soldier was also wounded in the gunfight, which took place in the village of Ghundai.

Another official said that three militants were also arrested after the gun battle while around a dozen escaped from the scene. 

"A curfew was imposed in the area and a door-to-door search is underway," he said.

The bomb attack that left the policeman dead and three others wounded took place in the Yakatoot area of Peshawar city.

"The bomb exploded near a police van in Yakatoot neighbourhood at around 4:00am (2300 GMT Thursday), killing a policeman and injuring three others," a senior police official, told AFP.

"It was apparently a timed bomb containing around two kilogrammes of explosives," he said. 

Pakistan launched a long-awaited operation in the North Waziristan tribal district last month aimed at eliminating Taliban and other militant bases after a dramatic attack on Karachi airport which marked the end of a faltering peace process with the Pakistani Taliban.

Analysts have warned that the operation would likely lead to reprisal attacks in Pakistan's major cities at the hands of sleeper cells of militant outfits linked to the Taliban.

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