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Motorcycle bomb in northwestern Pakistan kills 2 soldiers; Taliban claim responsibility

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A bomb attached to a motorcycle struck an army vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, killing two soldiers, a police official said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

The bomb exploded as the army vehicle was passing by on a road on the outskirts of the city of Peshawar, the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, said police official Roohullah Bangash.

Two soldiers were killed while two other soldiers and two police officers were wounded in the attack, he said.

Within hours, Mohammad Khurassani, the spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban — known as Tehrik-e-Taliban or TTP — claimed responsibility in a statement to media. The group is separate from the Afghan Taliban.

Peshawar is located near Pakistan's tribal regions, which are a hiding place for local and foreign al-Qaida-linked militants.

The Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups have been waging war against the Pakistani state for over a decade in a bid to topple the government and install their own harsh interpretation of Islamic law.

Pakistan's military has launched a major operation in the country's troubled North Waziristan tribal region since mid-June, to eliminate militants accused of launching attacks in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan. So far, the army says it has cleared 90 percent of North Waziristan of militants.

Army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif, whi is currently visiting the United States, has vowed to eliminate all militants from Pakistan.

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