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Several Pakistani soldiers killed in Taliban ambush

Latest update : 2008-07-12

A convoy of paramilitary troops were attacked by Taliban militants in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, leaving at least 15 dead, including an officer, according to officials.

Taliban militants killed at least 15 paramilitary soldiers in an ambush in
northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, officials said.

The militants attacked a convoy of paramilitary troops as it
was heading towards the volatile town of Hangu, 40 km (25 miles)
west of the garrison town of Kohat.

"At least 15 soldiers including an officer have been killed
in the attack," a senior government official in Hangu told

A military official said up to 12 soldiers were killed.

A Taliban spokesman said one of their fighters was killed.

Tension has been running high in and around Hangu since
Thursday when militants took 11 paramilitary soldiers and
government workers hostage to press for the release of their
seven men arrested earlier.

Militants have threatened to kill the hostages if their
comrades were not freed.

Violence had subsided in Pakistan's northwest on the Afghan
border, where militants are very active, after a new coalition
formed following February elections and led by the party of
slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto opened talks with the
militants through tribal interlocutors.

But the lull seems to be over and militants have stepped up
their activities in the northwest after their top leader
Baitullah Mehsud suspended talks last month.

Authorities named Mehsud in a wave of suicide attacks across
the country over the past one year, including the one that
killed Bhutto.

Mehsud has denied his involvement in Bhutto's murder.

Date created : 2008-07-12