Roadside bomb kills 6 Pakistani troops

Bombing took place in Orakzai, a known hotbed of Taliban and Qaeda fighters.

Islamabad: A roadside bomb hit a paramilitary vehicle in Pakistan`s restive tribal region along the Afghan border on Friday, killing one senior officer and five soldiers, a security official said.

Three more troopers of the paramilitary Frontier Corps were injured in the bombing, which took place in Orakzai, a known hotbed of Taliban and al Qaeda fighters.

Major Fazalur Rehman, a corps spokesman, said the soldiers were on patrol when they were hit by the bomb.

"Among those martyred is a lieutenant-colonel and five soldiers," Rehman said by phone.

Khalid Khan Omarzai, the top civilian administrator in Kohat district, which borders Orakzai, confirmed the incident and casualties.

Pakistani military and paramilitary troops have been fighting militants in Orakzai since March when an operation was launched to uproot al Qaeda and Taliban militants using the area to train and launch terrorist attacks in different parts of Pakistan.

According to officials, hundreds of militants and dozens of soldiers have been killed in the fighting and large parts of the district have been cleared of insurgents.

But militants remain holed up in the mountainous areas of the upper Orakzai region, occasionally attacking security forces.

IANS

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