MIRANSHAH - A roadside bomb on Sunday killed three soldiers and wounded at least seven others in the country's troubled northwest bordering Afghanistan, officials said.
A military vehicle on a routine patrol hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in the Bannu region near Miranshah in North Waziristan tribal district, a bastion of militants linked to Al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
"Three soldiers were killed and at least seven others wounded when their vehicle was struck with an IED alongside Bannu-Miranshah road early in the morning on Sunday," a security official in Peshawar told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The incident took place 15 kilometres west of Bannu. One soldier was killed on the spot and two others died in hospital, he said.
A little known militant organisation, Ansarul Islam Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the attack.
"We attacked the military convoy in Bannu region this morning," Abu Baseer, a spokesman for the militant outfit, told AFP in Miranshah."Such attacks are in retaliation for the drone strikes and will continue until the US and Pakistani governments stop targeting mujahideen through the unmanned aircraft," he said.
The US drone strikes inside Pakistan's tribal areas against Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants are highly unpopular in Pakistan. The Pakistani government publicly condemns them as counter-productive and a violation of its sovereignty but officials privately admit their usefulness.
The IED blasts are a main weapon of militants who attack government forces in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the tribal districts bordering Afghanistan. Last month a general and a lieutenant colonel were killed in a roadside bomb attack in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.Pakistan is a frontline state in the US and NATO-led fight against militants in Afghanistan. It says more than 40,000 people have been killed in Pakistan by Taliban and Al-Qaeda-led militants, who oppose Islamabad's US alliance.