Taliban militants wearing suicide vests have fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades at a northwest Pakistan army post, leaving well over a dozen people dead. It is the second such attack in as many days.
Pakistani officials said Saturday's pre-dawn raid killed 23 people, including at least 10 civilians. Twelve attackers also died in the attack.
The assault was on a joint checkpoint of the Pakistan army and a paramilitary force in the Sarai Norang area of the Lakki Marwat district, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) south of the provincial capital of Peshawar. It began at 3:45 a.m. local time and lasted for several hours, senior police officer Arif Khan Wazir said.
Two security officials said that three women and three children, in a nearby house, were among the 10 civilians killed.
In addition to the civilians, nine soldiers and four members of the Frontier Constabulary, a force that polices parts of northwestern Pakistan, were also killed.
The raid came a day after another suicide bombing, also in northwestern Pakistan at a Shiite Muslim mosque, that left 30 people dead, police said. Pakistani Taliban militants claimed responsibility for both attacks.
A Taliban spokesman said Saturday's assault was in retaliation for the recent deaths of two Taliban commanders in US drone strikes. Speaking with the Associated Press news agency, Ahsanullah Ahsan accused the Pakistani Army of helping with the attacks.
Later on Saturday evening, one soldier was killed and three others wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The explosion occurred in a compound in the Orakzai tribal district where the soldiers were conducting a search operation.
Taliban and other militants have increased their attacks on targets associated with the Pakistan army and air force in recent months.
dr/rc (AP, AFP)