Taliban kill two, kidnap four in Pakistan: officials | world | Hindustan Times
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Taliban kill two, kidnap four in Pakistan: officials

world Updated: Jan 29, 2009 18:14 IST
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Taliban fighters beheaded a policeman, killed a man they accused of spying for the United States and kidnapped four Shiite Muslims in northwest Pakistan, officials said today.

The militants shot dead 30-year-old tribesman Ameer Khoon after accusing him of spying for the United States, a local official said.

His body was found dumped in a drain early today outside Daigan village, 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in the restive North Waziristan tribal district.

"A note on Khoon's body said he had been killed by the Taliban because he was spying for the Americans," said local administration official Nazeer Khan.

His was the 15th such body reportedly found this month alone.

Militants routinely kidnap and kill tribesmen, accusing them of spying for the Pakistani government or US forces, who are fighting to quell a Taliban-led insurgency across the border in Afghanistan.

Elsewhere Taliban militants beheaded a policeman and kidnapped four Shiites in Tal, a town 45 kilometres (28 miles) northeast of Miranshah, a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The five victims were travelling in a private vehicle to Parachinar, the main district in the lawless Kurrum tribal region, when they were ambushed by a group of 15-20 Taliban today.

"Militants slit the throat of a policeman and kidnapped four Shiites," said the security official.

The attackers dumped the body of the slain police official, also a Shiite, in a vehicle at the roadside and took away their captives to unknown location.

"No one has so far claimed responsibility for the incident nor are motives behind the kidnapping known," the official added.

In North West Frontier Province, which neighbours North Waziristan, at least two militants were killed and five others wounded overnight in a gun battle with paramilitary forces and police today.

The firefight started when around 50 Taliban militants, armed with small and heavy weapons attacked a paramilitary checkpoint outside the garrison town of Bannu, police official Mohammad Saleem said.

After two hours of fighting, the Taliban fled and government forces seized a cache of ammunition and an unexploded roadside bomb, Saleem said, adding there were no casualties among government forces.

Pakistan's northwest has been wracked by violence since hundreds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda rebels fled across the border to escape the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001.

Washington says these regions have become a safe haven for the Islamic militants waging an insurgency against international troops based across the border.