Islamabad: Two Pakistan army officers were among five people killed in a suicide bomb attack near Islamabad on Wednesday, military officials said.

The bomber struck a double cabin vehicle the officers were driving en route to a military installation.

The victims were identified as Zahir Shah and Arshad, both lieutenant-colonels, by the head of the military’s public relations, Major-General Asim Bajwa.

The attack at Tarnol rail level crossing, about 25km west of the capital also left three civilians dead.

Military helicopters were called in to move the dead and injured to hospital and also to carry out a search in the area.

No one claimed responsibility for the bombing which comes in the wake of military action and air strikes in the North Waziristan tribal region, a hub of local and foreign militants, following acts of terrorism in the country.

The federal government and the proscribed Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan halted peace talks in April because of a deadlock, also ending a ceasefire that had followed the start of the dialogue in February.

Thousands of Pakistani forces have been killed by bombings and shootings while battling militants intent on overthrowing the government and establishing a harsh form of Islamic rule across the country.

Militants target troops in the rugged tribal areas bordering Afghanistan on a daily basis, but such incidents near the capital are much rarer.

Wednesday’s bombing was also significant because it killed two high-ranking officers.

The Pakistani government has been trying to negotiate a peace deal with militants based in the north-western tribal areas, but those efforts have stalled in recent weeks, raising fears that militants might launch reprisal attacks.