Militants open fire at a bus in northern Pakistan, killing 9 people including 2 soldiers

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Militants opened fire at a bus in northern Pakistan, killing nine people including two soldiers, local police said.

The shooting occurred on Saturday night in the Chilas area of the northern Gilgit Baltistan region, police officer Azmat Shah said.

The bus was carrying passengers from Gilgit to Rawalpindi. The driver lost control of the bus when it was hit by the gunfire and crashed into a truck. The truck caught fire, killing the drivers of both vehicles.

At least 26 people were injured in the incident and transferred to local hospitals.

The home minister of Gilgit Baltistan, Shams Lone, told journalists the incident was an “act of terrorism” and said that two soldiers from Pakistan’s army were among those killed.

A local Islamic cleric, Mufti Sher Zaman, was also injured, he said.

After the incident, the location was cordoned off and police helped move traffic through the area in convoys, said senior police official Sardar Shehryar.

The chief minister of Gilgit Baltistan, Gulbar Khan, said a special investigation team was formed to investigate the incident. Law enforcement agencies were ordered to identify and arrest the culprits, he said.

Muhammad Khorasani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, denied in a statement any link with the shooting, saying it was not carried out by their group.

Shumaila Andleeb, The Associated Press

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