Troops, fighters killed in Pakistan clashes

A fighter spokesman confirmed the attacks but disputed the official death toll.

Troops, fighters killed in Pakistan clashes

At least 11 soldiers and 24 fighters were killed Friday in gunfights in a northwestern Pakistani tribal area after paramilitary check points were attacked, officials said.

Pakistani troops have scored major gains against pro-Taliban fighters in military offensives and operations since last year.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in suicide and bomb attacks across Pakistan since the army stormed a mosque in capital Islamabad in 2007.

The army says its offensives in the Swat valley, South Waziristan and other tribal regions have weakened the Taliban.

About 150 fighters staged simultaneous attacks using small and heavy weapons on the army checkpoints in the Baizai area of the Mohmand tribal agency, officials said.

"Eleven paramilitary troops were killed and about a dozen wounded when fighters attacked several checkposts," the region's top government official, Amjad Ali Khan, told reporters.

At least 24 fighters were killed in clashes after the attacks and the death toll would likely rise following assaults by helicopter gunships, he said.

A fighter spokesman confirmed the attacks but disputed the official death toll, saying only two of their fighters were killed and three wounded.

An intensifying uprising in Afghanistan where US forces are spearheading one of NATO's biggest offensives against the Afghan Taliban, has brought more US pressure on Pakistan to go after local fighters claimed to support Afghan insurgents.



Agencies

Last Mod: 24 Aralık 2010, 10:58
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