35 die as militants attack security posts

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The Independent Online

Eleven soldiers and 24 insurgents were killed whe dozens of militants attacked five security posts in Pakistan's tribal area near the Afghan border overnight.









Troops called in helicopter gunships to help push back the militant fighters, said Major Fazl Ur Rehman, a spokesman for the Frontier Corps security force.



The fighting - which also wounded 12 soldiers -ended by dawn today.



The clashed in the Mohmand tribal area showed that insurgents in the region retain significant ability to co-ordinate and mount complex assaults, despite multiple military offensives against Taliban and al Qaida fighters in Pakistan's north-west.



Mohmand has been a trouble spot for years and the focus of multiple army operations. Its border location makes it a valuable transit point for insurgents seeking to travel to Afghanistan, where US and Nato forces are fighting.



Also today, a remote-controlled bomb rigged to a bike exploded on the outskirts of Quetta city in south-western Pakistan, killing a police officer and wounding five more, police official Hamid Shakil said.



Quetta is the capital of Baluchistan province, where a long-running insurgent movement that wants greater autonomy for the region has at times targeted security officials.

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