Thirty-one killed as militants attack Pakistan checkpoint

February 2, 2013 08:25

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan - Militants attacked an isolated army checkpoint in Pakistan's restive northwest on Saturday, with at least 31 people killed in the initial assault, subsequent crossfire and a rocket attack on a house, officials said.

The Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility, saying the attack was in response to a US drone strike in neighboring North Waziristan last month in which two commanders were killed.

The Pakistani military and pro-government militias have since 2009 regained territory from the Pakistan Taliban, who once controlled land a few hours' drive from the capital of Islamabad.

The militants attacked the post at Lakki Marwat early on Saturday.

Security sources said at least 12 militants and nine officials and civilians were killed in the clash. Two bodies had suicide bomb belts on them, an official said.

"Cross-firing between militants and security officials continued for four hours," one source said.

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