Eight Pakistani Soldiers Killed in Firefight With Militants

Posted June 9th, 2011 at 1:25 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistan security officials say Taliban militants have attacked a security checkpoint in South Waziristan, killing eight soldiers.

The officials say Pakistani forces killed at least 10 Taliban fighters in the resulting firefight.

Thursday's early-morning incident in the western tribal region near the Afghan border left at least seven soldiers wounded.

On Wednesday, Pakistani officials said U.S. missiles struck a militant training facility in a tribal region of North Waziristan, killing at least 23 suspected militants.

Intelligence officials say the missiles were fired from unmanned drone aircraft within minutes of each other.

The strikes took place in the village of Zoynarai in the Shawal area in the mountainous region close to the border with Afghanistan.

Wednesday's strikes came two days after U.S. missiles killed 18 militants in nearby South Waziristan. The United States has said the semi-autonomous region of northwest Pakistan is the headquarters of al-Qaida and Taliban militants leading the fight against the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan.

The United States does not officially confirm the Predator drone strikes, which are hugely unpopular among Pakistanis. But the CIA and the U.S. military are the only forces deploying the unmanned aircraft in the region. U.S. officials say the missile strikes have severely weakened al-Qaida's leadership.

The Pakistani parliament approved a resolution demanding the end of the missile strikes, but the U.S. has ignored it.