Pakistani forces repel Taliban attack, 30 insurgents killed

March 4th, 2010 - 2:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, March 4 (DPA) Paramilitary troops Thursday repelled a militant attack on a security check post in Pakistan’s restive tribal region near the Afghan border, killing 30 Taliban fighters, a security official said.
One soldier was killed and four injured in the pre-dawn gunbattle in the Chamarkand area of the Mohmand tribal district.

“Several dozen Taliban who were armed with AK-47 (assault rifles) and RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) weapons raided the post but our men fought very well,” said a senior official from the paramilitary Frontier Corps, which spearheads the fight against Islamist insurgents in Pakistan’s north-western region.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Taliban militants fled the area after a gunfight lasting around two hours, leaving the bodies of 10 fallen fighters behind. “Taliban managed to take the bodies of 20 other miscreants with them.”

The official said the militants retreated to the neighbouring Bajaur district, where the Pakistani authorities recently announced a decisive victory over the Taliban.

Major General Tariq Khan, the commander of the Frontier Corps, told reporters Tuesday during a guided tour of Bajaur that the insurgents had been “completely routed” and there was “no chance of them returning to this region”.

But Thursday’s attack in Mohmand indicated that Taliban were regrouping to continue the guerrilla war in the rugged district.

Many Taliban and Al Qaeda militants are based in Pakistan’s tribal region, from where they launch cross-border attacks on NATO-led international forces in Afghanistan.

Under US pressure, the country has waged multiple offensives against insurgents in the area.

In retaliation, a campaign of suicide bombings by the militants has killed thousands of civilians and security personnel over the last year alone.

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