Militants have released a video appearing to show the execution of at least 17 policemen who were kidnapped last month after an attack in north-western Pakistan along the Afghan border, officials said Tuesday, DPA reported.
The incident occurred after hundreds of Taliban from Afghanistan overran security forces posts June 1 in the Shaltalu area of the Upper Dir district and killed at least 30 policemen.
"Seventeen out of the 30 killed were brutally executed with their hands tied," military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas said.
The undated video posted on the website Liveleak showed the kidnapped soldiers in local dress lined up before four militants with covered faces and a man appearing to be the militants' commander.
"These are the enemies of Allah's religion and have left Islam," the man said in the local Pashtu language before the militants shot the prisoners with assault rifles. "Allah orders to kill such people."
Abbas said the executions were supervised by Taliban commanders from Swat near Upper Dir, where the military in 2009 expelled the militants, most of whom fled to neighbouring Afghanistan.
It was not clear where the video was shot, but Mian Iftikhar Hussain, the information minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, said that it appeared to have been made in Upper Dir.
District Police Chief Mir Qasim Khan said that number of victims in the video was 18. "This was a pre-dawn attack, and that is why the policemen were not wearing uniforms," he said.
The Taliban have launched several cross-border raids from Afghanistan in nearby areas.
Pakistan has protested the attacks and responded by firing hundreds of rockets into Afghanistan, which have in turn provoked protests from Kabul.