Surging violence: Taliban overrun security check post in Kurram region

Seven paramilitary troops, 18 militants die in ensuing fighting.

Our Correspondent February 04, 2012

PESHAWAR/HANGU: Taliban insurgents stormed a paramilitary check-post in the Kurram tribal region, killing seven troops and wounding three others, officials said. The Thursday night attack on Nawab Shaheed post triggered firefights in which 18 militants were also killed.

“Heavily-armed militants stormed the post around midnight and killed seven soldiers,” a senior security official told The Express Tribune. The post is located in the Shahedano Dand area in Lower Kurram, on the border with North Waziristan Agency.

Another security official confirmed that some of the troops manning the post also went missing following the attack. “They are missing but not necessarily kidnapped,” he told The Express Tribune. However, other officials put the number of missing troops at five.

Shahedano Dand is a rugged mountainous area used by Taliban militants for their movement to and from Kurram Agency.

The banned Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the deadly attack in a telephone call to journalists in Peshawar.

“We carried out this attack to avenge the killing of our commander Taj Gul in Khyber Agency,” said TTP spokesperson Ehsanullah Ehsan. “We have killed 12 FC (Frontier Corps) soldiers and captured four others alive,” Ehsan said, adding that militants also seized a large cache of weapons.

Independent confirmation of death tolls is very difficult in the tribal area, a Taliban stronghold barred to journalists and aid workers.

Kurram Agency has seen a spike in deadly clashes. On Tuesday, dozens of Taliban militants attacked a military post in the area, sparking clashes that killed eight soldiers and wounded another 15. Helicopter gunships were mobilised when the fighting broke out and officials said 35 militants were killed.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 4th, 2012.


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