About 50 gunmen attacked a site owned by the Budapest-based MOL Group, police chief of Hangu district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Asif Bahadur, told AFP.
Six Pakistani security personnel have been killed after dozens of gunmen surrounded a gas and oil exploration site belonging to a Hungarian energy group, police said Tuesday.
Pakistan has witnessed a deterioration in the security situation since the Taliban regained power in neighboring Afghanistan in 2021. Most of the attacks targeted security forces and foreign interests.
About 50 gunmen attacked a site owned by the Budapest-based MOL Group, police chief of Hangu district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Asif Bahdur, told AFP.
“They were carrying light and heavy weapons and fired mortar shells, killing six security personnel at the main entrance,” to the site near the border with Afghanistan, he added.
For its part, the Hungarian group confirmed in a statement the death toll, but said that none of its employees were killed. According to the company, two wells near the site of the attack were “temporarily closed through remote access technology,” noting that the two wells are now secured.
The police chief said that among the dead were four members of an auxiliary police force and two security guards belonging to the company. According to Bahdour, “the exchange of fire lasted for more than an hour. The police forces forced the gunmen to flee.”
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. But Bahdur blamed the local branch of the Taliban for it. Another police official, Noor Wali Khan, confirmed the attack and the death toll.
The Hungarian group has been operating in Pakistan since 1999 and employs 400 people in the country, according to its website. While a spokesman for the Hungarian embassy in Islamabad confirmed, “We are assessing the situation.” Bahadur pointed out that the attackers came from the nearby North Waziristan region.
North Waziristan is one of the oldest semi-autonomous tribal areas in northwest Pakistan, and the Pakistani army carried out many operations against insurgents linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban after the US and NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
On Sunday night, Islamic militants blew up two girls’ schools in northwestern Pakistan without causing casualties at a time when the classrooms were empty, while no party claimed responsibility for the attack.