Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ambush kills 12 Pakistan troops

Taliban militants have ambushed a Pakistani military convoy and killed 12 soldiers, the army says.

The attack happened in North Waziristan , near the Afghan border, when militants fired rocket-propelled grenades at several vehicles.

A fire-fight then broke out in which 10 militants were killed, the military said.

The attack came as Pakistani troops prepared to launch an operation against militants in the region.

They want to eliminate the Pakistani Taliban network led by Baitullah Mehsud, whose stronghold is in South Waziristan .

The US has already put a bounty of $5m (£3m) on his head and on Sunday the Pakistani authorities offered an additional $615,000 for his capture.

The convoy was attacked in the Gharlamai region near Wachabibi village, some 45km (25 miles) west of the region's main town of Miranshah .

Twelve soldiers were killed and 10 others were injured, the military statement said.

"An exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists continued for some time. Ten terrorists were killed," it said.

The military has been fighting militants in the Swat valley, to the north, for two months - an operation that has triggered militant attacks on both the military and towns and cities elsewhere.

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