10 killed in Taliban ambush in Pakistan

July 12th, 2008 - 11:02 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Taliban
Peshawar, July 12 (DPA) At least 10 people were killed Saturday as pro-Taliban militants ambushed a paramilitary convoy in Pakistan’s restive North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), media reports said. Among the dead were troops from the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC), the state-run Pakistan Television said while citing official sources.

Dozens of insurgents opened fire on FC convoy in Zargari area of Tal Tehsil of Hangu district, a security official said.

The official who spoke on condition of anonymity added that 10 security personnel were injured in the attack while a senior area commander, who was travelling with the convoy, remained unhurt.

“The militants fled after a brief exchange of fire with the security forces,” he said.

Local Taliban extremists claimed responsibility for the assault.

“One mujahid (holy warrior) died in the attack and six others were injured,” Shaheen, who identified himself as a spokesman of the Taliban in Hangu, told reporters by telephone from an undisclosed location.

Private news channel Aaj TV said at least 10 people were killed in the ambush and their bodies were still lying in Zargari area.

Tensions rose in the district Wednesday when the law enforcers arrested seven militants belonging to the group of Baitullah Mehsud, a top Taliban commander in South Waziristan.

Hours later, hundreds of heavily armed insurgents besieged a police station and abducted 27 security personnel as they retreated on the following day.

On Friday, a spokesman of Taliban threatened to start executing the hostages if the government did not release their comrades and halted the ongoing operation in the area.

A Pashtu language Khyber News channel reported Saturday that at least some of the captives have been executed. The report was yet to be confirmed.

Following the ambush, the government forces targeted the militants’ hideout in the mountains in Dori area of Hangu district with artillery fire, while helicopter gunships were also seen flying in the area.

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