MIRANSHAH: Two soldiers have been beheaded after being captured during fighting with militants in North Waziristan that killed nine other security personnel, officials said Monday.
Gunmen armed with rockets attacked a military convoy on Sunday, sparking gun battles near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.
The military said nine soldiers were killed in the clashes over several hours and claimed that “heavy casualties” were inflicted on the militants.
Three worshippers were also killed and 15 wounded when a shell hit a mosque near Miranshah on Sunday, security officials and residents told AFP.
The heads of the two soldiers were found dumped without their bodies – one hanging from a barbed wire fence in the neighbourhood of Makane Bagh and the other in Zafar Town, local officials said.
Gunbattles between soldiers and militants are relatively rare in Miranshah.
Pakistan has resisted US pressure to launch a full-scale operation against al Qaeda and Taliban in North Waziristan, which is instead frequently targeted by US drone strikes.
The latest such attack killed at least 10 militants on Saturday, according to Pakistani officials.
The fighting in Miranshah follows the murder last week of a senior Muslim cleric, Maulana Naseeb Khan, who taught at a madrassa near Peshawar where several Taliban leaders studied.
The cleric, who came from North Waziristan, was kidnapped near Peshawar and found dead on Thursday. After his funeral, the Taliban distributed a pamphlet blaming the army and vowing to avenge his killing.