Two soldiers, 16 militants killed in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan  — Pakistani troops killed 16 militants in heavy fighting after Taliban militants attacked a security post in a tribal area near the Afghan border, killing two paramilitary soldiers, officials said.
Troops retaliated after the militants launched a pre-dawn attack on Spinki Tangi post in the Mohmand tribal region bordering eastern Afghanistan's Kunar province, local military spokesman Major Fazal Khan said.
Mohmand is one of seven lawless tribal districts in northwestern Pakistan, where Taliban militants frequently attack security forces.
"The Taliban attack was launched before dawn, troops retaliated and heavy fighting continued until early this morning," the spokesman said.
Two soldiers from the paramilitary Mohmand Rifles were killed and five wounded, he said adding that 16 Taliban fighters were killed.
Another security official said three soldiers were missing after the clash, but local administration official Saeed Ahmed denied this.
Last month Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships killed 18 militants in a military operation in Mohmand.
The offensive was launched to force militants to flee from key heights in the area.
The rugged tribal areas have been wracked by violence since Afghanistan's Taliban regime was toppled by the 2001 US-led invasion, prompting hundreds of fighters to flood the region.
 
 
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