PESHAWAR: Afghanistan-based Pakistani militants on Sunday attacked a border post in Upper Dir and killed six soldiers while the military said security forces killed 11 attackers in retaliatory action.
The post was attacked in a border village of Sunai Darra in Upper Dir. It is one of over 50 posts the military has established on the Afghan border along Lower Dir and Upper Dir. It was the third cross border raid during the last nine days, suggesting a spike in attacks by the militants. Taliban, however, claimed they had killed 17 soldiers and taken as many G-3 rifles from them. The military said that six soldiers who were part of a patrolling party were ambushed and killed. It said security forces killed 11 militants in retaliatory fire.
Sirajuddin Ahmad, a spokesman for Maulana Fazlullah-led Taliban militants, called reporters from Afghanistan and asserted that they had killed 17 soldiers. He said the attack was carried out on a border post in Shoray Kandau where the militants lay in wait for the soldiers. He claimed no casualty from their side.
Claims by the Taliban and military could not be verified from independent sources as the border snakes through an isolated rugged mountainous terrain. Some officials earlier said exchange of fire between the militants and security forces had been taking place since Sunday evening. However, they were unable to confirm the casualties.
The fresh attacks suggest the militants have sped up their campaign against Pakistani security forces that guard the Pak-Afghan border along Lower Dir, Upper Dir and Chitral districts. The border along these districts has been volatile since the start of last year.