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Soldiers killed in Pakistan attack

Taliban fighters have killed eight Pakistani soldiers at a checkpoint in an Afghan border region which the army had declared cleared of insurgents.

Meanwhile, six civilians died in two bomb attacks in the north-west region on Thursday, officials said.

The attacks showed the strength of militant groups along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan despite Pakistani army offensives against them and US drone-fired missile strikes. After four years of offensives, there are few signs the authorities have the upper hand.

The Taliban raid on the army checkpoint the Marabi area of South Waziristan took place late on Wednesday and two intelligence officials said 10 insurgents who took part in the attack were also killed when soldiers returned fire.

The deadliest of the two bomb attacks on Thursday took place on the outskirts of the north-west city of Peshawar in the Matani area, where several anti-Taliban militias are based.

The blast hit a passenger vehicle, killing four people including a woman and a child, said Peshawar police chief Liaquat Ali Khan. The target was not immediately clear, but on Sunday another blast in Matani killed six people.

Pakistan supports anti-Taliban militias, which have been relentlessly targeted by the insurgents.

Two other people were killed and three were wounded in a second roadside bombing against a vehicle carrying food supplies for a paramilitary camp in the Upper Dir district of Saber Killy, said police officer Rehmat Khan. Upper Dir saw several large-scale militant attacks last week.

This week, the US launched five missile strikes against both tribal regions.

The US raid on May 2 which killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, a garrison city in Pakistan's north-west, infuriated Pakistan MPs who saw it as another violation of their sovereignty. Pakistan's parliament passed a resolution demanding the missile strikes end, but the US has ignored it.


From Belfast Telegraph