Seventeen people, including six soldiers and a policeman, were killed on Monday when Taliban militants targeted security personnel with a suicide bombing, rocket attack and a roadside blast in restive north-western region, the officials said.

A suicide bomber blew himself up near a police post in Pakistan’s north-western city of Peshawar, killing at least three people.

A policeman, who had stopped a motorized rickshaw in which the attacker was travelling, was among the dead, Peshawar police chief Liaquat Ali Khan said.

Five people were wounded in the blast, which took place on a street leading to the main Ring Road in the capital of North-West Frontier Province.

The attack came a day after a suicide bomber killed an anti-Taliban mayor and militia leader and 12 other people at a cattle market on the city’s outskirts.

Peshawar has been hit by a string of attacks in recent weeks. More than 110 people were killed when a car bomb hit a crowded market last month.

The strikes were being seen as the Taliban’s response to Pakistan’s offensive against militants in the South Waziristan tribal district near the Afghan border.

The security forces were consolidating their position after expelling militants from their many strongholds, facing Taliban still offering resistance in some areas.

Four soldiers died and one was injured when the Islamist insurgents targeted a security post with rockets in Makeen. In retaliatory fire, eight militants died, said an Army statement on Monday.

With the latest killing casualties, the over-all death toll on the Taliban side in South Waziristan has reached 486, as against the 46 soldiers died in the combat.

The casualty figures cannot be verified independently because the conflict zone is closed to journalists.

Separately, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded near an Army vehicle in another tribal district of Bajaur, killing two troops.

One troop was also injured in the explosion that took place in Salarzai area of the district.

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