Militant attack on Army fort kills three in Pakistan

Three paramilitary soldiers were killed when a group of militants launched a rocket attack on a mountain fort in Pakistan`s troubled northwest early Sunday, security officials said. 

AFP| Last Updated: Sep 14, 2014, 13:42 PM IST

Islamabad: Three paramilitary soldiers were killed when a group of militants launched a rocket attack on a mountain fort in Pakistan`s troubled northwest early Sunday, security officials said. 

The midnight attack took place in the Spinwam area of North Waziristan tribal district on the Afghan border, where the military launched a major offensive against the Taliban and other insurgents in June.

Officials said both military and paramilitary troops were inside the well-protected fort at the time. 

"An unknown number of militants started firing rocket-propelled grenades from all sides. Three FC (Frontier Corps) men embraced martyrdom when one of the rockets landed inside the fort," an official in Peshawar said.

The attack was apparently staged in revenge for the ongoing military operation, he added.

An intelligence official confirmed the attack and the casualties.

Pakistan began a long-awaited push to clear insurgent bases from North Waziristan after a bloody raid on Karachi airport finally sank faltering peace talks with the rebels.

North Waziristan has become a major base for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (Pakistani Taliban), which rose up against the state in 2007. The United States has long called for action in the area against militant groups targeting NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistan`s army says it has killed more than 900 militants and lost 82 soldiers since the start of the operation.​Odile strengthened to a powerful category three storm on Sunday, dumping heavy rains and triggering huge waves as it swirled off Mexico`s Pacific Coast.

The narrow Baja California peninsula was hit especially hard, with mountainous areas in some western states expected to see up to 38 centimeters (15 inches) of rain from the storm, according to the US National Hurricane Center.

"These rains are likely to result in life-threatening flash floods and mudslides," the Miami-based NHC warned.

The large storm had hurricane force winds extending outward up to 75 kilometers (47 miles) from the center, and tropical storm force winds extending outward up to 295 kilometers.

Odile`s winds were blowing at 193 kilometers per hour, the US National Hurricane Center said in its 0600 GMT bulletin.

The storm was located about 280 kilometers west-southwest of Manzanillo, home to Mexico`s busiest port, as it moved north-northwest at 20 kilometers per hour.

A hurricane warning was in effect for parts of Baja California Sur, from Cabo San Lazaro to La Paz. A hurricane watch was in effect for other parts of the peninsula.

The NHC warned of "additional strengthening" before Odile nears the southern portion of Baja California Sur, and passes over later Sunday and Monday.

Swells likely to produce "life-threatening surf and rip current conditions" were expected along southern portions of the Baja California peninsula and the southern Gulf of California on Sunday.

In the Atlantic, meanwhile, Tropical Storm Edouard was strengthening in the open seas and was expected to become a hurricane later Sunday.