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Over 70 militants attack Pak security post, 2 dead

More than 70 militants attacked a security checkpost on the outskirts of Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, triggering a shootout that killed two security forces and wounded five, officials said.

world Updated: May 18, 2011 22:26 IST

More than 70 militants attacked a security checkpost on the outskirts of Pakistan's northwestern city of Peshawar on Wednesday, triggering a shootout that killed two security forces and wounded five, officials said.

The pre-dawn attack took place near Khyber, part of Pakistan's lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border, which is regarded as a global hub of militants, including al Qaeda and the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban movements.

"They were armed with AK-47 rifles and rockets. We successfully repulsed the first attack. They attacked again and then there was an exchange of fire that lasted for about two-and-a-half hours," security official Abdul Jabbar told Reuters.

A policeman and a paramilitary soldier were killed in the attack, he said.

"There were casualties on the other side also but they took away their bodies and we don't know how many of them were killed or wounded."

Militants linked to al Qaeda and the Taliban have stepped up attacks in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden in the country by US special forces on May 2.

Pakistan has come under mounting pressure to prove it is serious about tackling militancy since bin Laden was discovered after apparently spending at least five years in the South Asian nation about a two hour drive from intelligence headquarters.

The Pakistani Taliban, who are close to al Qaeda have vowed to avenge bin Laden's death and said their suicide bombers killed 80 people last week at a paramilitary academy in the northwestern town of Charsadda.

On Tuesday, security forces shot dead five suspected al Qaeda-linked Chechen militants who had tried to carry out a suicide bombing in the southwestern city of Quetta.