Taliban militants armed with guns and rockets ambushed a military convoy on Friday, killing seven soldiers and injuring two in North Waziristan, officials said.
The attack took place at the Khar Kamar area of Datta Khel tehsil, 30 kilometres west of Miramshah.
A senior security official in Peshawar, while confirming the toll, said that “the incident took place around 1:00 pm when militants attacked a vehicle of the security forces in Khar Kamar with heavy weapons”.
“At least seven soldiers were martyred when militants fired machine guns and rockets on the military convoy,” a senior security official told AFP.
Security officials said nine militants were also killed in the attack, but there was no independent confirmation of the toll.
“After the ambush, military helicopters and troops retaliated and there were reports of deaths of nine militants,” an intelligence official said.
An official of the political administration told The Express Tribune that four vehicles of the security forces were also damaged in the attack.
The injured security personnel have been airlifted to Peshawar for treatment.
Peace militia leader killed
Prominent tribesman and leader of a peace militia, Malik Waris Khan of the Stori Khel tribe, was shot dead by a militant in the Feroz Khail area in Orakzai Agency on Friday.
Waris Khan was killed on the spot in a market in the Feroz Khail area, when an unidentified man opened fire on him, a senior official of the political administration told The Express Tribune.
The militant, according to the official, reportedly took refuge in a house which was soon surrounded by security forces. However, to avoid being arrested, the militant killed himself.
“He first exploded a hand grenade and received injuries but when the security forces moved closer the militant shot himself,” said the official.
Spokesperson for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Ehsanullah Ehsan called reporters from an unknown location and claimed responsibility for the attack.
Waris was awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz on March 23, 2011 for his efforts to combat militants and restore peace in his area. Waris, along with his militia, battled militants for almost two months when he blocked the road in Chingana, Orakzai Agency, the main supply route of the militants.
Al Qaeda confirms Badr Mansoor’s death
Al Qaeda has, meanwhile, confirmed that a US drone strike killed one of its commanders in Pakistan last month.
The death of Badr Mansoor in the strike along the border with Afghanistan is significant because he was believed to be behind many of the suicide attacks that have killed scores of civilians in Pakistan in recent years.
The US-based SITE monitoring service said on Friday that the confirmation of Mansoor’s death came in a video statement by Ahmad Farooq, al Qaeda’s head of media and preaching in Pakistan. The video has been released on an Internet jihadi forum.
Mansoor was said to have run a militant camp in North Waziristan. He was from Punjab and moved to North Waziristan in 2008.
ADDITIONAL INPUT FRON AFP AND NEWS DESK
Published in The Express Tribune, March 10th, 2012.
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