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Pakistan peace talks stall after Taliban faction kills government soldiers

Pakistan's prime minister has condemned the execution of 23 soldiers by a Taliban faction. Nawaz Sharif has also warned that the deaths could affect ongoing peace talks.

A militant group in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region claimed responsibility for this weekend's killing of 23 soldiers kidnapped in 2010, leading to a new stall in talks between the Taliban and the government (pictured above), local media reported on Monday. The announcement of the soldiers' deaths at the hands of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan came overnight, according to Geo News.

"Such incidents have an extremely negative impact on the ongoing dialogue aimed at promoting peace," Prime Minister Sharif said in a statement issued by his office.

Pakistani officials said they had put talks between the Taliban and government committees scheduled for later Monday on hold in the wake of the announcement of the soldiers' deaths, local media reported. Talks began between the government and the Taliban earlier this year. A seven-year battle between the two sides has claimed more than 7,000 lives.

mkg/dr (AFP, dpa)

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