Two Pakistani policemen were killed while guarding teams collecting census data in north-western Pakistan amid a surge in terrorist attacks on Tuesday.
The policemen were killed in two separate attacks in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa bordering Afghanistan.
The first attack occurred in the Tank district, in which a police van patrolling to secure the area for the census team was targeted.
The attack left four policemen injured, a spokesperson for the provincial police.
Another policeman was killed in a similar attack in the province’s Lakki Marwat district.
Despite the attacks, the census staff were unharmed, the spokesperson said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Earlier this month, Pakistan launched its first digital census to gather demographic data on every single individual nationwide.
More than 121,000 enumerators wearing green jackets were collecting data, while 86,000 policemen have been deployed in 156 districts nationwide for the month-long exercise.
Alongside a police officer accompanying each enumerator, thousands of troops have also been deployed for the exercise, given the increase in violence in recent months.
Violence has surged in Pakistan after peace talks between Islamabad and the Taliban militants hiding in Afghanistan collapsed in November 2022.
In 2022, the country saw at least 262 terrorist attacks, including 14 suicide bombings, which left 419 people dead and more than 700 wounded, according to the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS).
Security forces and law enforcement agencies were targeted in 180 attacks that killed 268 personnel.