Rocket attack kills 10 civilians in Pakistan

March 20th, 2009 - 2:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Islamabad, March 20 (DPA) A rocket fired by Islamist militants at a paramilitary base in a Pakistani border town killed at least 10 people and wounded 32, an official said Friday.
The rocket attack was launched Thursday night on a camp of the Frontier Corps paramilitary force based in the remote town of Landi Kotal, 10 km from the Afghan frontier, said Nasir Khan, a local administrator.

“All five rockets fired by the militants missed their target, but one hit a commercial warehouse in the vicinity, killing 10 civilians and injuring 32 others,” Khan said.

The security forces did not suffer any fatalities but one Frontier Corp soldier was wounded in an ensuing clash, he added.

More than 20 rooms in the warehouse were damaged in the rocket attack, which sparked a more than four-hour gunfight.

The government troops used mortars and rocket-propelled grenades to target the militants. However, there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Khan said soldiers were hunting for the militants Friday.

Landi Kotal lies in the Khyber tribal region, which hosts a major land route serving the US and NATO forces fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

This vital route has been blocked several times in recent months after militant attacks on NATO-bound trucks and terminals where vehicles loaded with food and military equipment are parked at night.

Pakistani security forces carried out clean-up operations to flush the insurgents out of the area, but the attacks have not ended, compelling the US to seek alternative routes, mostly running through Central Asian republics.

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