23 militants killed in Pakistan


Islamabad, Dec 19 (IANS): At least 23 militants were killed during a clash with security forces in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region, where a suicide attack had taken place earlier, officials said.

According to a security official, the militants tried to ambush a security forces' convoy which was returning from Khajuri checkpost area in Mir Ali of North Waziristan tribal region where the suicide attack had taken place, the Dawn reported Thursday.

The attack on the military checkpost Wednesday left at least five soldiers dead and 34 others injured. The soldiers were offering prayers in a mosque at the post when they were attacked.

The convoy had gone to the area to rescue injured soldiers in the attack.

The gun battle between the security forces and the militants continued for several hours during which the 23 militants were killed. Three security personnel were injured in the clash.

The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson claimed responsibility for the attack and said it was carried out to avenge ex-TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud's death.

North Waziristan, one of the seven tribal districts along the Afghanistan border, is a hotbed for Al Qaeda and TTP militants.

  

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