LANDI KOTAL, June 28: An army captain and seven soldiers were killed and three others injured when their vehicle was blown up in Bara on Thursday.

According to security officials, the vehicle hit an explosive device placed on the road at Qambarabad chowk near Bara bazaar. Capt Manan, Tariq, Bahadar Shah, Nawaz Gul, Alibad Shah, Kamran Ali, Muhammad Yousuf and Jan Afzal of Mehsud Scouts were killed.

After the incident, security personnel started firing in all directions and launched a search operation. This was the deadliest attack on security forces in Bara since the launching of a military offensive in Shalobar area in November last year.

Intruding militants killed

Meanwhile, eight militants who tried to attack troops from across the Afghan border were killed and several others injured in a clash on Wednesday night, our correspondent adds from Upper Dir.

“Security forces clashed with militants along the border in Upper Dir when they tried to launch another attack from Afghanistan,” an official source said on Thursday.

The claim about militants’ casualties could not be confirmed from independent sources.

Meanwhile, local people are reported to have contacted militants across the border to get bodies of soldiers killed on Sunday in a similar attack.

At least 13 soldiers patrolling the border in Sunai darra area of Upper Dir were killed in the attack by militants believed to be belonging a group led by Maulana Fazlullah, a fugitive from Swat who is reported to have taken shelter in Kunar province of Afghanistan.

The militants took away the bodies of several slain soldiers.

According to unconfirmed reports, Taliban have demanded the release of some militants in return for the bodies.

A ‘grand jirga’ of Sunai darra and adjoining areas is leaving for Kunar for talks with the militants and a tribal elder has expressed the hope that the jirga would persuade the militants to hand over the bodies.