3 soldiers, 25 Taliban killed in Pak clashes | world | Hindustan Times
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3 soldiers, 25 Taliban killed in Pak clashes

world Updated: Jul 10, 2010 15:27 IST

Three Pakistani soldiers were killed as Taliban attacked security forces in a northwestern tribal area, sparking clashes in which 25 militants were killed, officials said on Saturday.

"Militants attacked an army patrol in Makeen district of South Waziristan area late Friday in which three soldiers were killed and eight wounded," a security official said.

Taliban fighters also attacked a security post in Kaniguram valley, 30 kilometres (about 18 miles) north of the region's main town of Wana overnight, injuring five soldiers, another security official said.

Military officials said troops launched retaliatory strikes, killing 25 militants in the two areas.

Independent confirmation of casualty figures is impossible because the area is closed to aid workers and journalists.

South Waziristan, considered a stronghold of militants and headquarters for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), was the scene of a major government offensive against the insurgents last year.

The TTP is a major force behind a bombing campaign that has killed more than 3,500 people across Pakistan in three years.

Washington has branded the rugged tribal area on the Afghan border a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and the most dangerous place on earth.

Militants based in the tribal terrain attack US-led forces across the border in Afghanistan, where the Afghan Taliban are waging a nearly nine-year insurgency to evict the estimated 140,000 foreign troops.