10 militants killed in fierce Pak clash

Miranshah, July 31:

Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships killed at least 10 Islamic militants in a five-hour battle in a troubled tribal region bordering Afghanistan today, the army said.

The clash erupted at around 11am when an army patrol came under attack after signalling three vehicles to stop in the conflict-torn region of North Waziristan, chief military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said. “The miscreants started firing at security forces and took positions in nearby hills, and security forces retaliated. Helicopter support was called in,” Arshad said.

“There was a heavy exchange of fire and at least 10 militants are dead. Their bodies are lying there, the helicopters confirmed that,” he said, adding that the fighting was continuing. Arshad said that around 30 to 40 militants had been in the vehicles at the time and that all had fled into the hills when the fighting broke out. North Waziristan has seen a spike in violence since pro-Taliban rebels in the area scrapped a peace deal with the government on July 15, five days after the army stormed a radical mosque in the capital, leaving scores dead.