Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: At least four people, including two security personnel have been killed and three others were injured after armed assailants fired upon a bus and a car in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Kurram district, Geo News reported on Sunday.

District Police Officer (DPO) Muhammad Imran said that the deceased in the firing incident in the Sadda area of Kurram District included two security personnel, a driver and a woman.

The police have launched a manhunt to arrest the attackers while security has been beefed up in the area, he said.

"The armed attackers targeted two vehicles going from Parachinar to Peshawar," Geo News quoted the DPO as saying.

In a separate incident last week, six barbers were kidnapped and murdered, after which their bodies were dumped in a field in Mir Ali tehsil in North Waziristan tribal.

Geo News reported, citing local and official sources, that the bullet-riddled bodies of six men were found in the field in Muski village, located in Mir Ali. The initial investigation suggested that the victims had been shot dead after being kidnapped.

The deceased were all barbers, stated to be non-locals and had recently shifted to North Waziristan. They were running barber shops in Mir Ali Bazaar.

Notably, the year 2023 witnessed an alarming rise in terror-related incidents in the country in general and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular, as it witnessed 419 militant attacks in which 620 people were killed, including 306 security forces personnel, 222 civilians, and 92 militants, according to Geo News.

While, 977 were injured, including 525 security forces personnel, 402 civilians, and 50 militants.

More violence was recorded from mainland Khyber Pakhtunkhwa -- an increase of 84 per cent in militant attacks -- than the Newly Merged Districts (erstwhile FATA). It witnessed 235 militant attacks in which 336 people were killed, including 213 security forces personnel, 67 civilians, and 56 militants, while 589 were injured, including 383 security forces personnel, 163 civilians and 43 militants.

Meanwhile, FATA saw 184 militant attacks in which 284 people were killed -- including 155 civilians, 93 security forces personnel, and 36 militants -- while 388, including 239 civilians, 142 security forces personnel, and seven militants were injured, Geo News reported.

The region witnessed a 59 per cent rise in militant attacks in 2023 compared with 2022.