29 killed in Pakistan violence
DPA ISLAMABAD AT least 29 people were killed in two separate incidents in Pakistan on Friday.
In the first incident, at least 18 miliants and eight soldiers were killed after dozens of suspected Taliban raided a border post in Pakistan’s north-western tribal region along the Afghan border, officials said.
The incident occurred when rebels attacked Shaidano post in Kurrum, one of seven tribal districts where militants linked with the Al Qaeda terrorist network are active.
The fighting that followed the pre-dawn attack continued for more than an hour, said Rehman Khan, a local security official.
“Our forces killed at least 18 attackers but we also suffered eight deaths of our soldiers,” Khan said. “There are reports that the Taliban have kidnapped some soldiers and we are trying to confirm that.”He said five soldiers were injured in the attack. An intelligence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said it was not clear whether the militants had come from the Kurram tribal district or the neighbouring Afghan provinces of Paktia, Paktika and Khost.
Hundreds of Pakistani fighters with the Islamist extremist Taliban have fled to Afghanistan after they were targeted in military operations in several Pakistani districts.
Over the past year, they have carried out about a dozen raids on Pakistani border posts and villages.
In the second incident, a car bomb attack targeting an anti-militant tribal elder killed three people on Friday and wounded seven others in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar, police said.
The attack outside the residence of the tribal elder Aastana Gul in the Pishtakhara suburb of Peshawar damaged one house and a private office in the street. “Three persons were killed and seven were wounded,” Tahir Ayub, a senior police official said.
Peshawar’s bomb disposal expert Hukam Khan said up to 40 kilograms of explosives were packed in the car and detonated remotely.
Another police official, speaking on condition of anonymity, blamed a homegrown militant group Lashkar-e-Islam led by the warlord Mangal Bagh and based in the lawless tribal district of Khyber for the killings Insurgents have previously targeted members of antimilitant tribal militias which are known as Lashkars.
Islamist bombers and gunmen have killed more than 4,800 people across Pakistan since government troops raided an extremist mosque in Islamabad in July 2007.
At least 25 militants and 10 soldiers were killed on Tuesday in fighting between the security forces and suspected militants in the Jogi Kalan area of Kurrum. The clashes started after militants launched an attack at a military post