Militants Storm Pakistani Checkpoint, Killing Eight Soldiers

Posted June 9th, 2011 at 3:55 pm (UTC-5)
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More than 100 Taliban militants attacked a security checkpoint in Pakistan's South Waziristan region, triggering gunbattles that left eight soldiers dead.

The attack took place early Thursday morning in the Marabi area near the border with Afghanistan.

Officials say Pakistani forces killed at least 10 Taliban fighters. At least seven soldiers were also wounded in the firefight.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's army chief said Thursday that billions of dollars sent by the U.S. to fund the Pakistani military's fight against militants should instead be used to help Pakistani citizens.

General Ashfaq Parvaz Kayani told a meeting of top military commanders that the U.S. military assistance funds should be “diverted towards economic aid to Pakistan which can be used for reducing the burden on the common man.”

Kayani said only $1.4 billion of the U.S. aid Pakistan received over the last 10 years — which he said totaled $8.6 billion — had gone to Pakistan's army. He said a “relatively smaller amount” had gone to Pakistan's navy and air force, while the rest — approximately $6 billion — was kept by Pakistan's government.

Kayani also said that Pakistan has dramatically reduced the extent of intelligence sharing with the United States since the U.S. commando raid in northern Pakistan that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden. He added that the army no longer receives any U.S. military training.

In other violence in Pakistan on Thursday, bomb attacks across the country killed at least seven people.

At least four people were killed in a bomb blast in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Officials say a roadside bomb struck a vehicle carrying police officers in southwest Baluchistan province, leaving two dead and one injured.

In the northwestern Upper Dir district, at least one person was killed when a roadside bomb hit a vehicle.

No one has claimed responsibility for any of the attacks.