Pakistani Taliban Kills 15 Abducted Security Officers

Posted January 5th, 2012 at 4:25 am (UTC-5)
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The Pakistani Taliban said Thursday that it has killed 15 paramilitary soldiers who were abducted late last month along the country's restive border with Afghanistan.

A Taliban spokesperson told reporters that the Pakistani troops were shot and dumped in the border tribal region of North Waziristan. Local officials say they have recovered the bodies, which show signs of torture and gunshot wounds.

The troops were abducted on December 22 when dozens of militants raided a paramilitary post in the Tank district of the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

They were members of Pakistan's Frontier Constabulary, a paramilitary force operating in the Afghan border region that is home to several insurgent groups.

The Taliban says the attack was carried out in revenge for one of Pakistan's recent military operations against militants in the tribal area.

The Pakistani Taliban, or Tehrik-e-Taliban, is a loosely organized group of insurgents that was formed in 2007. Though its members mainly operate in Pakistan's tribal areas, the group is believed to have carried out routine bomb and gun attacks elsewhere in the country.

The latest incident comes days after al-Qaida and Afghan Taliban leaders reportedly asked Pakistani militants to stop targeting Pakistani security forces. The request, which allegedly originated from Afghan Taliban supreme commander Mullah Omar, said that Pakistani militants should instead concentrate on battling U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan.

In recent months, various Pakistani militants and government officials have suggested that Islamabad is holding preliminary peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban and affiliated militant groups. But other officials and militant leaders have rejected the claim, and violence along the border has continued.