15 Sep 2011

Pakistan intelligence officials killed

10:36 am on 15 September 2011

Suspected Taliban militants have killed three military intelligence officials in a tribal region in Pakistan's northwest.

In the attack, on Wednesday, militants ambushed a vehicle carrying officials from Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the tribal region of Bannu. One intelligence official was wounded.

The ISI is Pakistan's most powerful intelligence agency, often described as a state within a state. It sets security and foreign policy and oversees efforts to tackle militants fighting to topple the US-backed government.

About 5,000 security forces and police have been killed since Pakistan joined the US-led war on terror after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

Since the Pakistani Taliban's ally Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid in Pakistan in May, the militants have carried out high-profile suicide bombings and attacked a major naval base and Western targets.

On Tuesday, the group claimed responsibility for a shooting attack on a school bus which killed five people, saying the children on the vehicle were from a pro-government tribe.