Dozens killed as Pakistani army, militants clash

January 31, 2012 13:56

KURRAM, Pakistan - Dozens of people were killed in clashes between Pakistani soldiers and militants in the northwest region on Tuesday, security officials said, casting further doubts on exploratory peace talks with the rebels.

Fighting erupted when militants attacked a security post in the Jogi area of Kurram tribal region, near the Afghanistan border, said the officials.

At least 10 soldiers were killed and 32 others wounded, while 40 militants died and 30 were injured after Pakistani forces retaliated and gunship helicopters were called in for support, the officials said.

The death toll could not be independently verified and militants often dispute official accounts.

The Pakistani Taliban, allied with al-Qaida, and the Afghan Taliban movement fighting Western forces in Afghanistan, are entrenched in Pakistan's northwestern tribal areas.

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