Clashes in NW Pakistan Kill 50

Posted January 31st, 2012 at 8:35 am (UTC-5)
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Pakistani officials say at least 50 people have been killed in fighting between the military and Taliban in the country's northwest.

Officials said Tuesday's clashes erupted when dozens of militants attacked a security post in the Kurram tribal region, near the Afghan border. The military responded by sending in helicopter gunships to the Jogi area for support.

At least 10 Pakistani soldiers and 40 militants were killed. The fighting broke out a week after six Pakistani troops were killed while trying to take control of Jogi.

Tuesday's death toll could not be independently confirmed because the area is largely closed to journalists. It is an area considered to be sympathetic to the Pakistani Taliban's leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

The Pakistani military first launched operations against Islamist militants in Kurram last July, and the fighting has yet to die down. It follows a series of similar military operations in the country's mountainous northwest aimed at stopping the Pakistani Taliban, known as the Tehrik-i-Taliban .

The TTP is responsible for numerous attacks targeting civilians, foreigners and government targets that have killed thousands during the past few years. The group says it wants to take down the Pakistani government, in part, because of its partnership with the United States in the war on terror.

Meanwhile, at least 10 people, including family members of a politician, have been killed by gunfire in Karachi, Pakistan.

Police say the wife and daughter of Baluchistan lawmaker Sahibzada Bakhtiar Khan Domki were killed as they were being driven through the neighborhood of Clifton. Their driver was also killed in the attack.

Police say they are trying to determine the method used by the killer or killers.

In a separate incident, three men were shot dead in another part of Karachi.