Six security personnel were tragically killed in a brazen attack on an oil and gas exploration site owned by a Hungarian energy firm in Pakistan. The incident occurred during an overnight siege by dozens of militants, highlighting the escalating threat of militancy in the region. The resurgence of the Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan since 2021 has contributed to an increase in attacks, primarily targeting security forces and foreign entities accused of exploitation.
According to local authorities, approximately 50 fighters launched the assault on a facility owned by the Budapest-headquartered MOL Group in the Hangu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Asif Bahadur, the district police chief, reported that the militants were heavily armed and unleashed mortar shells, resulting in the deaths of six security personnel stationed at the main entrance to the remote site near the Afghan border. Among the victims were four members of the paramilitary police assistance force known as the Frontier Constabulary, as well as two Pakistani private security guards employed by the company.
The intense exchange of fire lasted for over an hour, with police ultimately forcing the militants to flee the area. Although the attack was attributed to the domestic faction of the Taliban, which remains the most active militant group in the region, no specific claim of responsibility has been made thus far.
Noor Wali Khan, a local police official, confirmed the attack and the resulting death toll. The MOL Group, which has been operating a subsidiary in Pakistan since 1999 and employs 400 individuals in the country, is currently assessing the situation. The Hungarian embassy in Islamabad stated that they are evaluating the available information but have no immediate plans for diplomatic action. Requests for comment from the MOL Group went unanswered at the time of reporting.
As per Mr. Bahadur, the attackers originated from the neighboring North Waziristan district, which shares a border with Afghanistan and has long been a hotbed of militancy. During the post-9/11 invasion of Afghanistan by the United States, the area experienced extensive drone strikes and military operations by Islamabad to eradicate Islamist militants.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), commonly known as the Pakistan Taliban, emerged in 2007 when militants split from the Afghan Taliban to focus their insurgency on Islamabad due to its support for the U.S. invasion.
In a separate incident, militants targeted two girls’ schools in the province overnight, resulting in the destruction of nine classrooms. Fortunately, no casualties were reported, and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack at this time.