Militants kidnap 11 policemen in Pakistan’s Khyber area

March 29th, 2009 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, March 29 (DPA) Islamist militants Sunday kidnapped 11 tribal policemen following an attack on a checkpoint in northwestern Pakistan bordering Afghanistan, an official said.
The gunmen forced the Khasadar policemen to surrender all weapons after laying siege to the Shin Qamar post in Khyber tribal district, a hub of militant activity.

“They pushed the Khasadars into their vehicles and sped away,” said Manzoor Ahmed, an official of the local administration.

According to Ahmed, one abductee managed to escape from the militants’ custody and reached to safety later in the day.

“It is believed the insurgents transported the kidnapped policemen to neighbouring Orakzai region,” Ahmed said while referring to one of Pakistan’s seven tribal districts currently containing Al Qaeda and Taliban militants.

No group claimed responsibility for the abductions.

The kidnappings came two days after a suicide bombing on a mosque in Jamrud area of the Khyber region killed at least 53 people and wounded 160 others.

Khyber used to be calmer relative to other tribal districts, but it has seen a surge in violence in recent months, with dozens of attacks on Pakistani security forces as well as supplies ferried through the area for US and NATO troops fighting the Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

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