PESHAWAR - Two security men were martyred while three terrorists killed in clashes at Frontier Region Bannu, on Thursday morning.

A group of terrorists, armed with sophisticated weapons, attacked Khadim Shaheed check post in Daryoba area of FR Bannu, adjacent to North Waziristan. The militants opened indiscriminate fire on security forces. The forces retaliated with full force and killed three terrorists while two security men also martyred in the gunbattle which lasted an hour. Sources said early in the morning a group of more than 10 armed militants, taking advantage of darkness, attacked the security check-post. They said the forces responded effectively and killed three attackers. Two soldiers also embraced Shahadat in the shootout. Bodies of martyred security men were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH). Following the incident, an additional contingent of security personnel arrived at the scene and launched search operation in the area.

Bannu has witnessed a number of attacks and a massive jailbreak in April 2012 during which 384 prisoners escaped from its central prison. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Daryoba is a thinly populated area in Bannu district which serves as a buffer zone between the tribal areas and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

AFP adds: Pakistan has been battling a homegrown Islamist insurgency for over a decade following the late 2001 US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

The Pakistan Army began a major campaign against Taliban and other militant strongholds in the North Waziristan tribal area in June last year and authorities have now vowed to intensify operations both in the border regions and across the country. The military offensive has resulted in a fall in the number of attacks around the country, with militants finding it harder to coordinate, fund and supply their operations.