Islamabad: Nine Pakistani soldiers and 16
militants were killed on Sunday when heavily-armed gunmen ambushed
troops during a search operation in the country`s restive
Khyber tribal region bordering Afghanistan, officials said.
"Heavily-armed militants attacked security forces when
they had on a routine patrolling at Bara area of Khyber
agency," said a spokesman for the paramilitary `Frontier
Nine soldiers died at the scene and three others were
injured, the spokesman said, adding the security forces
returned fire and killed 16 militants.
There was no independent confirmation of the killing of
Locals said that the militants had launched major attack
on a roadside check post of the security forces, inflicting
heavy losses on the security forces.
Sources said a group of 30 to 35 militants attacked the
security check post with rockets, hand grenades and automatic
Militants have recently stepped up attacks on security
forces in Khyber agency in recent weeks. Khyber agency is the
main supply route for NATO forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.
Militants routinely attack NATO supply trucks in the region.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and another militant group
Lashkar-e-Islam are active in the area.
The security forces have launched several operations in
Khyber agency and cleared most of the areas of the militants
but they are still active in several areas.