Mil­i­tants at­tack near Pak­istan bor­der, killing 3

The Covington News - - WORLD -

KHAR, Pak­istan (AP) — Mil­i­tants killed a Pak­istan army cap­tain and two soldiers in an at­tack early Satur­day in a tribal re­gion near its bor­der with Afghanistan, au­thor­i­ties said, as an airstrike killed 13 sus­pected ex­trem­ist fighters.

A group of some 60 mil­i­tants who crossed over from Afghanistan at­tacked an army post in the Ghakhi area of the Ba­jur tribal re­gion, said Shah Nasim, a se­nior govern­ment ad­min­is­tra­tor in Ba­jur.

He said an­other sol­dier and a civil­ian cook were in­jured in the at­tack, which took place when troops had a pre-dawn Ra­madan meal be­fore fast­ing. A later state­ment from the Pak­istani army, how­ever, said the mil­i­tants at­tacked a ve­hi­cle killing the two, not an army post. The con­flict­ing ac­counts could not be im­me­di­ately rec­on­ciled.

Khan said the at­tack­ers later es­caped to Afghanistan’s Ku­nar prov­ince but a re­tal­ia­tory at­tack in­jured some of them.

Pak­istan’s army largely has cleared the Ba­jur tribal re­gion of mil­i­tants but its posts of­ten come un­der cross-bor­der at­tacks. In June, mil­i­tants killed 20 soldiers in three at­tacks. Pak­istani troops killed some 50 at­tack­ers in re­tal­ia­tory at­tacks.

Pak­istan has asked Afghanistan’s govern­ment to take ac­tion against the Pak­istani mil­i­tants who es­caped a re­cent mil­i­tary of­fen­sive in the Swat Val­ley and else­where for safe havens in east­ern Afghanistan.

In a sep­a­rate state­ment, the mil­i­tary said it killed 13 sus­pected mil­i­tants Satur­day in lat­est airstrikes tar­get­ing Mir Ali, a town in the North Waziris­tan tribal re­gion, where the mil­i­tary last month launched a ma­jor oper­a­tion against mil­i­tants there. It said the strikes also de­stroyed seven mil­i­tant hide­outs.

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