Militant attacks kill 8 Pakistani soldiers

A Pakistani soldier fires a machine gun in Kurram, Pakistan on July 10, 2011.

Story highlights

  • The battle lasts several hours
  • There are Taliban strongholds in the region
  • More than 3,000 Pakistani soldiers have died fighting Islamist militants
  • A recent battle in the area kills six soldiers
Hundreds of militants stormed military checkpoints in northwest Pakistan early Tuesday, killing at least eight soldiers and injuring 10 others, military and government officials said -- the latest in a string of attacks against security forces.
Twenty-five militants died in the clash, according to the officials.
The predawn attack took place over several hours in Kurram, one of seven mostly ungoverned districts in Pakistan's tribal region along the Afghan border.
The district has seen a sharp increase in militant activity with insurgents who have fled military operations in neighboring South and North Waziristan.
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Kurram has become the front line in the fight between Pakistani militants and security forces.
The Pakistani army has launched several operations in Kurram to flush out militants, but parts of the district remain strongholds of the Pakistan Taliban.
Last week, six soldiers and 10 militants died in another battle in the same area.
More than 3,000 Pakistani soldiers have been in killed in the fight against Islamist militants over the past decade, the Pakistani Army says.
The number of soldiers killed this month -- more than 50 -- is very high, but doesn't approach figures in 2009 and 2010, when up to 150 troops at a time were killed in one month at the height of military operations in Pakistan's tribal region, a senior Pakistani military official said.