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10 Pakistani soldiers killed in Taliban attack

Islamabad, June 11, 2008

At least 10 Pakistani soldiers were killed on the Pakistani side of the Afghan border as US-led forces in Afghanistan battled militants infiltrating into Afghanistan, a security official said on Wednesday.

The soldiers were killed at a border post in the Mohmand region, opposite Afghanistan's Kunar province, late on Tuesday.

The incident comes as concern has been rising in Kabul and among Western forces fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan about Pakistani efforts to negotiate peace pacts to end militant violence on its side of the border.

"The militants launched a cross-border attack into Afghanistan. At least 10 of our soldiers were killed in a counter-offensive by forces in Afghanistan," said a senior Pakistani security official who declined to be identified.

The official did not say if the forces battling militants on the Afghan side were from Nato or a separate US force.

He also did not say how the Pakistani soldiers were killed, but residents said they were believed to have been killed in an air strike.

Government officials in the area said about 40 soldiers were at the post in Suran Dara, about 30 kilometres northwest of Mohmand's main town of Ghalanai, and they had no information about the others.

Neither Pakistani military spokesmen nor NATO spokesmen in Afghanistan were available for comment. A US military spokesman in Afghanistan referred queries to the US embassy in Islamabad, which had no comment.-Reuters




Tags: Taliban | killed | air strike | Pakistani soldiers | Afghan border |

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