One killed, 16 injured as militants ambush Pakistani troops
At least one person was killed and 16 more, including 10 security personnel, were injured on Saturday as pro-Taliban militants ambushed a paramilitary convoy in Pakistan's restive North West Frontier Province (NWFP), officials said.
Dozens of insurgents opened fire on Frontier Corps (FC) convoy in Zargari area of Tal Tehsil of Hangu district, a security official said, the dpa reported.
The official who spoke on condition of anonymity added that 10 security personnel were injured in the attack while a senior area commander, who was travelling with the convoy, remained unhurt.
"The militants fled after a brief exchange of fire with the security forces," he said.
Local Islamist extremist Taliban accepted the responsibility of the assault.
"One mujahid (holy warrior) died in the attack and six others were injured," Shaheen, who identified himself as a spokesman of the Taliban in Hangu, told reporters by telephone from an undisclosed location.
Tensions rose in the district on Wednesday when the law enforcers arrested seven militants belonging to the group of Baitullah Mehsud, a top Taliban commander in South Waziristan.
Hours later, hundreds of heavily armed insurgents besieged a police station and abducted 27 security personnel as they retreated on the following day.
On Friday, a spokesman of Taliban threatened to start executing the hostages if the government did not release their comrades and halted the ongoing operation in the area.
A Pashtu language Khyber News channel reported on Saturday that at least some of the captives have been executed. The report was yet to be confirmed.
Urdu-language Geo news channel claimed the troops had started to target the militants' hideout in the mountains in Dori area of Hangu district with artillery fire.