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Pakistan troops repulse militant attack, kill 11

world Updated: Nov 22, 2009 19:26 IST

AFP
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Pakistani troops on Sunday repulsed an attack by militants on one of their posts in a lawless tribal region, killing 11 rebels, officials said.

Armed with heavy weapons, a group of 30-40 militants launched the attack on an army post in Rashakai area in the Bajaur region which borders Afghanistan, senior local administration official Adalat Khan told AFP.

"Troops effectively repulsed the attack, killing 11 militants," Khan said, adding that two soldiers were wounded in the exchange of fire.

Another security official in the area confirmed the incident and said the remaining militants fled leaving behind their weapons.

Elsewhere, fighter jets bombarded militant hideouts in Mamound area of Bajaur on Sunday, killing five rebels.

Militants have recently stepped up attacks on security forces and government installations in Bajaur, one of Pakistan's seven semi-autonomous tribal districts considered a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked extremists.

The violence has surged since Pakistan launched a major offensive in the Taliban bastion of South Waziristan on October 17. Officials say the aim is to distract the army's attention from South Waziristan.

In February, the army declared a major six-month operation in Bajaur successful. But violence continues to rock the region.

Meanwhile, security forces continued their operation in South Waziristan tribal region, killing five militants, the military said in a statement.

Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal areas have been infested by hundreds of extremists who carved out safe havens after the ouster of Afghanistan's hardline Taliban regime in a US-led invasion in 2001.