30 militants, 1 soldier killed in Pakistan battle

March 4, 2010 08:37

Dozens of militants armed with assault rifles attacked a security checkpoint in Pakistan's volatile northwest, sparking a gunbattle that left 30 insurgents and one soldier dead, officials said Thursday.

The battle occurred overnight in the Chamarkand area of the Mohmand tribal region near the Afghan border, said government and military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Chamarkand borders the Bajur tribal region, where the army said Tuesday it had finally defeated Taliban and al-Qaida militants after more than a year and a half of fighting. But the army made a similar declaration of victory in Bajur a year ago only to see violence continue, and officials acknowledged some of the militants may have fled to other areas.

It was unclear if the militants involved in the checkpoint attack came from Bajur.

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