Dera Ismail Khan: Military operations and insurgent attacks in lawless districts of Pakistan on Sunday left eight members of the security forces and around 30 militants and criminal suspects dead, officials said. Two soldiers and 16 militants were killed in clashes in the Tirah Valley area of the Khyber tribal region in the northwest, the military said in a statement. Another three soldiers were wounded in the remote mountainous district near the Afghan border.
The army launched an offensive in April 2013 into the valley targeting the Pakistani Taliban and an allied group, Lashkar-e-Islam. The military statement said the latest fighting forced the militants to flee from two of their hideouts, leaving behind a huge cache of arms and ammunition. In the North Waziristan tribal region, another northwestern district bordering Afghanistan, a roadside bomb attack on a convoy killed two soldiers and wounded three, said two Pakistani intelligence officials.
They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to the media. The tribal region is home to both Pakistani and Afghan militant groups, including al-Qaeda-linked organisations with significant numbers of foreign fighters. The military carries out raids against the insurgents, inflicting losses but not preventing them from striking back with roadside bombs and ambushes. Also on Sunday, two members of the paramilitary Frontier Corps were killed in clashes in the Bolan district of the southwestern province of Baluchistan, said government official Waheed Shah. He said the fight also killed 13 "criminals" suspected in kidnappings and robberies.
In the province's Sibbi district, a convoy of an independent candidate for Pakistan's May 11, 2013 parliamentary elections was attacked by two gunmen who killed two of his police guards, a police official said. He said candidate Sardar Sarfraz Domeki's other guards fired back, killing one of the attackers and wounding the other. He said the police were questioning the wounded attacker.