22 killed as Taliban attack army camp in Pakistan

Islamabad, Feb 2 (IANS) At least 22 people were killed and a dozen injured Saturday when a military camp came under a fierce attack from heavily-armed Taliban rebels in Pakistan's northwest, media reports said.

The attack was launched at about 4 a.m. when 30 militants equipped with sophisticated weapons stormed the army camp located in the Saraey Noor Rang area of Laki Marwat, a restive district located in the country's northwest province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The attack was followed by a gun battle between security forces and militants which lasted for more than four hours.

Geo reported that dead include eight security personnel.

Pakistan Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Lakki Marwat area, and a Taliban spokesperson said they sent 30 trained militants including four suicide bombers to launch attack at the military camp, reported Xinhua.

Ahsan Ullah Ahsan, the Taliban spokesperson, said the attack was the revenge of deaths of two Taliban commanders in US drone strikes.

Army sources confirmed that 10 of the assailants were shot dead in the counter attack by security forces and 20 fled the scene.

They said that the militants' plan to inflict huge loss on security forces was foiled by the soldiers.

TV channels quoted unidentified security officials as saying that the escaped militants hid in a residential area near the security camp.

The injured were shifted to a nearby hospital where several of them were in critical condition. Hospital sources confirmed that there were at least eight soldiers among the injured people.

Both President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf condemned the attack.

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