PARACHINAR, Pakistan (AP) – Dozens of militants attacked a military checkpoint in a troubled tribal region in northwestern Pakistan on Friday, triggering a gunbattle that left 18 insurgents dead, a military spokesman said.
Lt. Col. Tahir Akram, a spokesman for the Frontier Corps, said the fighting involved insurgents who arrived from the nearby Khyber region to try to retake a checkpoint in the Taliban-infested Orakzai tribal region. He said the security forces repulsed the attack and captured four insurgents. One soldier was wounded.
Government forces had evicted insurgents last week from the same checkpoint in the Baizoti area. The military began a major operation against insurgents in Orakzai in mid-March. Nearly 300 militants have been killed so far.
Elsewhere in the northwest, police said they killed two suspected suicide bombers in a shootout. The suspects were on foot in Lakki Marwat town and were killed after refusing to surrender to police who tracked them down after getting a tip from intelligence agents, police official Said Nawaz Khan said.