PESHAWAR - Four troops embraced martyrdom when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb in Kurram Agency while two militants including a key commander were killed in clashes with security force on Tuesday.

According to details, a convoy of the security forces was on its way to Parachinar, when it struck a roadside planted bomb at Warmagai area of Kurram Agency.

As a result, four soldiers embraced shahadat. Official sources confirmed the attack and casualties. Soon after the bomb explosion, security personnel and rescue teams rushed to the blast site and shifted the victims to a nearby hospital. The security forces' vehicle was completely destroyed in the bomb explosion.

Following the blast, security forces clashed with militants in the area which left two TTP men including a key commander dead. Three other militants also sustained injuries in the clash. Sources said that militant commander, identified as Gul, was TTP's naib amir for Hangu, Orakzai and Kurram tribal areas.

Pakistan Army launched a full scale offensive Zarb-e-Azb against both local and foreign militants to clear insurgent bases from the North Waziristan Agency, after talks between Taliban and government failed in June last following attack on Karachi airport.

The army has intensified its offensive since the Taliban massacred 153 people including 134 children in an attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16 last.

Agencies add: An official said that immediately after the bombing security forces launched a search operation in which two militants were killed and three others wounded.

The vehicle belonged to a bomb-disposal squad whose mission was to travel ahead of a convoy to clear the road, the second official said.

five ACTIVISTS OF PEACE COMMITTEE

KILLED IN TIRAH BLAST

Five activists of the peace committee Tauheedul Islam died in a bomb blast in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency on Tuesday.

Administration officials said an improvised explosive device (IED) planted near a bunker of the committee in Naray Baba area went off killing five volunteers.

The banned Lashkar-e-Islam, a tribal militia led by Mangal Bagh, later claimed responsibility for the bomb attack on the peace activists.

Clashes between the Lashkar-e-Islam and Tauheedul Islam have claimed several lives in Tirah Valley so far.

Mangal Bagh went into hiding when authorities launched military action in Khyber tribal region, which is the most important region among the tribal agencies of Pakistan because it is a route connecting the country to Afghanistan.

2 COPS KILLED IN MANSEHRA BLAST

Two policemen including an Additional SHO were killed in an explosion near Lorry Adda on Karakoram Road here on Tuesday.

According to Mansehra DPO Ijaz Khan, the explosion took place when a police van escorting a convoy of vehicles set off for Gilgit-Baltistan.

He said Additional SHO of City Police Station Fareed Khan was killed while three others injured.

The injured was rushed to Ayub Medical Complex Abbotabad where one of them succumbed to injuries.