Dozens of militants attacked an oil and gas facility in remote northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, near the border with Afghanistan, killing four security troops and two private guards, officials said.
Oil production has been temporarily halted following an attack on an oil and gas facility operated by a European multinational, MOL Pakistan Oil and Gas, in Hangu, a restless district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The company said the attackers never reached the facility itself, but fought with troops and guards outside.
PAKISTAN CALLS ON TALIBAN RULERS TO PREVENT TERRORIST ATTACKS FROM AFGHANISTAN FOLLOWING SUICIDE ATTACKS
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“Production from the wells has been temporarily halted via remote access and the wells are now protected,” the company said in a statement.
The attack triggered intense shooting, according to local police chief Sawab Khan. He said an extensive search was underway to arrest the attackers, who fled the scene.
The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan or TTP, is likely to blame. The militant group has stepped up attacks in recent months, after unilaterally ending a ceasefire with the Pakistani government in November.
A separate militant group, the TTP is allied with the Afghan Taliban and its fighters and leaders often take refuge across the border in Afghanistan, straining relations between the two countries.