Taliban kill 24 people in attack on Pakistani border post
A militant attack on a Pakistani border post on the Afghan border killed at least 23 security personnel and a civilian, police said Thursday, DPA reported.
The remote Shaltalo checkpoint in the Upper Dir district was attacked Wednesday. Twenty-three police and members of a paramilitary border force have been killed in the ongoing fighting, said Ghulam Mohammad, the district's civilian leader.
One cleric from a local mosque also died, he said, adding, "Between 200 and 300 terrorists took part in the action."
An intelligence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the militants had taken over at least three villages and were holding positions in the hills, making it difficult to retrieve the bodies.
"So far, only three bodies have been recovered while three policemen, including the head of a police station, Gul Fazil, have managed to escape from the siege," said the official, adding that the militants had come from the Afghan province of Kunar.
Fresh reinforcements of police and troops have been dispatched to the area, where government forces had been fighting the Taliban since 2008.
Hundreds of Taliban militants fled to Afghanistan when Pakistani security forces launched an offensive in the Malakand region, which includes Upper Dir.
Omar Hassan Alharabi, a spokesman of the Taliban in Malakand, accepted responsibility for the attack, claiming 52 policemen and paramilitary troops have been killed. He also claimed the attackers have captured 15 security personnel.