7 Pakistani soldiers die in militants' attack
At least seven Pakistani soldiers were killed and several others injured in an attack by suspected Taliban militants in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region on Friday, security officials in the region said, Xinhua reported.
The militants fired rockets on a convoy of security forces in the Khar Qamar area of North Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan, they said.
The convoy was heading to the Datta Khel area near the border from its headquarters in Miranshah, main town in North Waziristan.
The militants had been hiding in the mountains overlooking the road and used rockets to hit the convoy. Sources said that several vehicles were also destroyed in the attack.
The security forces also retaliated, but there had been no confirmation of casualties of the militants. Local media had reported that nine militants were killed when the army returned fire.
It was not clear which militant group had been involved in the attack.
The main Taliban group, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadar, had struck a peace deal with the government in 2007 and both sides do not attack each other. The Gul Bahadar group denied any involvement and its spokesman Ahmadullah Ahmadi said the group will investigate and punish those involved.
Security sources say that there are several splinter groups of the militants in the region and they may be behind the attack.
The CIA and Afghan officials say that North Waziristan is home to the al-Qaida, Taliban and the Haqqani network.
They say that the militants plan attacks there and also cross the border into Afghanistan for attacks on foreign and Afghan forces.