Day-long Attack Kills 23 in Northwestern Pakistan

Posted June 2nd, 2011 at 5:55 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Officials in northwestern Pakistan say militants have killed at least 23 security personnel and three civilians in an attack on a checkpoint that lasted for more than a day.

The attack began Wednesday in the town of Shaltalo, when police say about 200 militants crossed the border from Afghanistan's Kunar province into Pakistan's Dir tribal area.

Officials said fighting stopped Thursday and Pakistani forces have regained control of the area.

It was not clear which group is responsible for the attack, but officials said at least 35 of the militants were killed.

Meanwhile, a top Pakistani army commander said Wednesday the military has no plans to launch an offensive against Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants in the North Waziristan tribal region.

Lieutenant General Asif Yasin Malik refuted media reports earlier this week that said the military was planning such an operation at the request of the United States. He said Pakistan will undertake that type of offensive when it is in the country's national interest.

The general also described the situation in North Waziristan as “calm, peaceful and stable.” He said he has more than 30,000 troops in the region and reported no change in the status of those forces in recent days.

Army officials have said Pakistani troops are stretched thin undertaking military operations in other areas.

Militants have launched a number of attacks against Pakistani security forces following the May 2 killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.