Peshawar- Pakistani soldiers fought suspected militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, the military said Sunday. Eighteen people, including one soldier, died in the clash.
Fighting broke out late Saturday when soldiers tried to stop two vehicles at a roadblock during routine security checks for
suspected militants near Miran Shah, the main
town in North Waziristan.
The drivers ignored the order to pull over and gunmen inside fired on the troops, killing one, two military sources said on condition of anonymity. Soldiers fired back, destroying one of the vehicles with a rocket that ignited ammunition stocks inside. Five people in the other vehicle were detained.
A military source in Peshawar, near the Afghan border, said 17 militants were killed. But another army source said the dead included two men, and 15 women and children who were members of the suspects” families, and that they appeared to be from Kazakhstan. Passports and other documents were seized at the scene.
The sources declined to be identified for security reasons.
The Associated Press quoted top army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan as saying that there were casualties, but declined to provide details. He confirmed that some suspects were hit by gunfire when they tried to break out of a military cordon in two vehicles.