Two killed, one arrested in abortive attack on Pakistani troops
( dpa ) - Two suspected pro-Taliban militants were killed and one arrested Tuesday in a failed attack on a security checkpoint in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, where 23 rebels and seven paramilitary troops died in clashes the previous day, officials said.
Three men armed with small arms and suicide vests attacked a post manned by the paramilitary Frontier Constabulary in the tribal district of Mohmand, but one of them blew himself up when troops returned fire, which killed one of his comrades.
The third attacker was captured, a local military official said on condition of anonymity.
On Monday, dozens of militants attacked a Pakistani military convoy in a pre-dawn ambush in the same area, triggering a firefight that left 23 militants and seven paramilitary soldiers dead.
Pakistan's tribal areas bordering Afghanistan are considered safe havens for Taliban and al-Qaeda militants who took refuge there after United States-backed forces took over Afghanistan in 2001.
Pakistan has around 100,000 troops there trying to contain a number of local Taliban warlords and militant groups, some of which are giving refugees to al-Qaeda and other foreign fighters.
Al-Qaeda and the Taliban have been blamed for ordering numerous suicide bombings across Pakistan in the past year in an attempt to destabilize the nuclear-armed state, which is preparing for crucial parliamentary elections on February 18.