Alwaght- Four Pakistani army forces were killed after a suicide bomber blew himself up in the troubled northwest, near the border with Afghanistan.
An army patrol was conducting a search operation in Upper Dir on Tuesday night, near the Malakand region where "The military officials received information about the presence of terrorists in the area," the military said in a statement.
The district of Dir, bordering the eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan, was once the stronghold of Taliban militant groups. The area was cleared after a military operation in 2009 and hundreds of militants fled to the border areas of Afghanistan.
"One of two suicide bombers present in the hideout exploded himself after army officers raided the compound while the other one was killed in an exchange of fire," The military's media wing, Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement, adding a suspected militant was apprehended during the operation.
An officer and three soldiers were killed in the attack.
The prime minister's office condemned the incident, saying, "Each drop of blood of our heroes is a testament to the fact that we all are united as a nation to cleanse our beloved motherland from terrorist elements."
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi took office after former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was disqualified by the Supreme Court over undeclared assets, a ruling Sharif has decried as politically motivated but opposition leaders say is a victory for the rule of law.