Militants kill 8 and kidnap dozens in Pakistan ambush

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 25, 2011 7:33 AM
Militants kill 8 and kidnap dozens in Pakistan ambush

PARACHINAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - Militants ambushed a convoy of vehicles carrying members of an anti-Taliban Shi'ite tribe in a Pakistani tribal region on the Afghan border on Friday, killing eight and wounding five, tribesmen and government officials said.

The militants also kidnapped nearly 40 people after the attack on the convoy near Bagan, a militant stronghold in the tribal region of Kurram, where Pakistani troops have killed several hundred insurgents in fighting in the past few years.

"It was the convoy of five buses that came under attack in which eight people were killed and five wounded," tribal leader Haji Yousaf told Reuters.

Another elder, Abid-ul-Hussaini, said militants also took with them about 40 passengers and set fire to two buses.

Those killed belonged to the Turi tribe in the Kurram region, whose people have blocked Taliban militants from the Haqqani network - one of the most dangerous Taliban factions - from using their territory to cross into Afghanistan.

Hundreds of people have been killed in clashes between the Turi and their Taliban-backed rivals in recent months.

There have been attempts by Taliban to strike peace deals with the Turi tribe that could give them access to remote strategic areas on the Afghan border.

Government officials in the region confirmed the attack but said they did not have any details about the kidnapping.

The convoy was traveling from the main northwestern city of Peshawar to Kurram. Parachinar is the main town of Kurram.

(Reporting by Javed Hussain; Writing by Augustine Anthony; Editing by Chris Allbritton)