The militants' identity was not clear
DOZENS of militants attacked a Pakistani paramilitary checkpoint overnight, sparking clashes that left at least three soldiers and up to 14 militants dead, officials said today.
The attack in part of Pakistan’s restive tribal badlands, near the Afghan border, was beaten off when troops responded with artillery and heavy weapons, according to a spokesman for the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC).
The area is cut off to journalists and aid workers and it was not possible to confirm the death toll independently.
“Militants attacked a Frontier Corps checkpost in Baizai area of Mohmand tribal region on Sunday night, which triggered a firefight, killing three troops and 14 rebels,” local official Siddiq Ullah said.
Five troops were also injured and the militants had infiltrated Pakistan from Afghanistan’s northeastern Kunar province, he said.
The identity of the militants was not clear, but Afghan and Pakistani Taliban sympathisers have strongholds on both sides of the porous border.
The FC spokesman confirmed the incident and casualties and said the militants had attacked the post from three different directions.
Mohmand is one of seven districts in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt, where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have carved out strongholds used to plot attacks on Pakistani, Afghan and Western targets.
The Pakistani military stepped up raids on militant hideouts in Mohmand last summer, as it faced US pressure to conduct a separate offensive against the Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network in North Waziristan, another tribal district.
Washington has called the tribal belt the most dangerous place on Earth and the global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.
Pakistan has been under huge American pressure to do more to destroy militant sanctuaries since US Navy SEALs found and killed Osama bin Laden in the Pakistani military town of Abbottabad on May 2.
No Comments Posted yet
Do you have comments on this?