Taliban bomb kills top Pakistani general, officers
October 9, 2013 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
- The Pakistani Taliban claim responsibility for the attack
- Officials had just announced plans for "phased withdrawal" of troops from some areas
- The blast is a troubling reminder of the region's volatility
Editor's note: See a side to Malala you haven't seen before in Christiane Amanpour's special interview, The Bravest Girl in the World, on CNN Sunday, October 13, 7pm ET. The program, recorded in New York before a studio audience, will include exclusive material.
Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A roadside bomb killed a top Pakistani general Sunday, just a day after officials announced plans to withdraw troops from a war-ravaged region near the border with Afghanistan.
The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, which killed Maj. Gen. Sanaullah Khan, the commanding officer in Swat Valley. Two other officers were also killed, army officials said.
For years, troops have clashed with Taliban militants in Swat, which drew global attention last year when militants there shot teenager Malala Yousafzai point-blank in the head and neck after she defied the Taliban's ban against girls in school.
The Pakistani army has reclaimed control of the Swat Valley, where the Taliban held significant sway for years. But Sunday's attack was a troubling reminder of the region's volatility even as officials consider pulling out troops.
The roadside bombing occurred in the Upper Dir district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, in northern Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan.
On Saturday officials in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced for a "phased withdrawal" of troops from Upper Dir, Lower Dir and Swat.
And last week the Pakistani government announced plans to pursue renewed peace talks with Taliban militants.
Pakistani leaders push for Taliban talks
But a Taliban spokesman said Sunday that there is no ceasefire with the Pakistani government, warning that such attacks will continue.
"We have killed them," Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said, "as they are killing us."
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued a statement expressing condolences over the slain officers' deaths Sunday.
"(The) Pakistan Army has made substantial sacrifices to protect the nation against the menace of terrorism," he said, "and such cowardly acts by terrorists cannot deter the morale of our armed forces."
Karachi, Pakistan, shut down after violence
Journalist Sophia Saifi reported from Islamabad, journalist Zahir Shah Sherazi reported from Peshawar, Pakistan, and CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet reported from Atlanta. CNN's Aliza Kassim contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.