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Attacks kill two soldiers in tribal region


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A group of militants attacked an army checkpoint early Sunday in the town of Ladha in South Waziristan. – File Photo

PESHAWAR: Militants carried out a series of attacks against soldiers in Pakistan's rugged tribal region along the Afghan border Sunday, killing two troops and wounding more than a dozen others, intelligence officials said.

The attacks took place in the North and South Waziristan tribal areas, both of which are strongholds for Pakistani Taliban fighters who have waged a deadly war against the government. The region is also home to militants who stage cross-border attacks against US troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

A group of militants attacked an army checkpoint early Sunday in the town of Ladha in South Waziristan, killing one soldier and wounding another, said intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

A second soldier was killed when troops engaged militants in a gunbattle in the Pasht Ziarat area on the border of North and South Waziristan, the officials said. Three militants were killed during the fight. Six soldiers and seven militants were also wounded.

A roadside bomb struck an army convoy near Miramshah, the main town in North Waziristan, wounding five soldiers, said the officials.

South Waziristan was the main stronghold for the Pakistani Taliban until the military launched a major offensive in the fall of 2009. Periodic attacks still occur in the area, and many of the militants fled to North Waziristan.

The US has urged Pakistan to conduct a similar offensive in North Waziristan, but the military has declined, saying its troops are stretched too thin by operations in other parts of the tribal region.

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