35 reported killed in Pakistan clashes

Military officials in Pakistan have said that at least 35 people have been killed in clashes near the border with Afghanistan.
News Keydmedia Online

 

The dead include 11 Pakistani soldiers and 24 members of the Taliban.

About 150 militants staged simultaneous attacks on the checkpoints in the Baizai area of the Mohmand ethnic Pashtun tribal region, officials said.

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

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

Pakistani troops have scored major gains against pro-Taliban militants since last year, but insurgents have proved resilient and continued attacks on security forces and civilians.

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

Elsewhere, a roadside bomb hit a police patrol in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, killing a policeman and wounding seven, officials said.

Separatist rebels, not linked to Islamist militants, have been waging a low-intensity insurgency in gas-rich Baluchistan for decades.

In another incident, in the northwestern city of Peshawar, a blast outside a school wounded a teacher and three children, police said.

The army says its offensives in the Swat valley, South Waziristan and other Pashtun regions in the northwest have weakened the Taliban, although analysts question the effectiveness of the assaults because militants tend to melt away and establish strongholds elsewhere.

Pakistani action against militants on the border is seen as crucial to efforts to bring stability to Afghanistan. Pakistan has often been criticised for not doing enough.

An intensifying insurgency in Afghanistan has brought more pressure on Pakistan to go after militants operating out of sanctuaries in remote enclaves on its side of the border.

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News 5 December 2022 19:42

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