8 Pak soldiers, 35 militants killed in clash

Hundreds of people have died in the fighting between the rival tribesmen.

Last Updated: Jan 31, 2012, 23:53 PM IST

Islamabad: At least eight Pakistani soldiers
and 35 militants were killed on Tuesday in a fierce gunbattle after
Taliban stormed a military post in the restive Kurram tribal
region in the country`s northwest.

The Inter-Services Public Relations confirmed the death
of eight soldiers and 35 militants in the fighting in Jogi
area of Kurram Agency, which has witnessed intense clashes in
recent days.

Another 15 troops were injured, ISPR said. Media reports
said over 100 militants attacked the post at around midnight.

The military said the post was recently established at
Jogi to sever a route frequently used by militants to travel
from Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency to Kurram Agency and North
Waziristan.

The militants targeted soldiers who were trying to hold a
strategic mountain in Jogi area and the fighting continued
till this morning, officials said.=
Troops had taken control of the mountain last week after
fighting that killed six soldiers and 20 militants.

Militants in the region are loyal to Pakistani Taliban
chief Hakimullah Mehsud. The militants use the Jogi area to
gain access to North Waziristan, which the US has described as
a safe haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda elements.

Besides the activities of the Taliban, Kurram Agency has
also been affected by clashes between Shia and Sunni tribesmen
over the past four years.

Hundreds of people have died in the fighting between the
rival tribesmen.

PTI