The Taliban killed 12 Pakistan soldiers during a deadly ambush in North Waziristan. The soldiers were killed when a company-sized force of about 150 Taliban fighters carried out the ambush against their military convoy as it passed through the town of Wacha Bibi near Miramshah.
The Taliban fighters hit the convoy with IEDs, then opened fire with a coordinated assault of rocket-propelled grenades. The military said that 12 soldiers were killed in the initial attack, but a Taliban spokesman claimed more than 60 soldiers were killed.
The military said 10 Taliban fighters were killed after its forces engaged the attackers in an extended gunfight.
The ambush took place in tribal areas run by Hafiz Gul Bahadar, the powerful warlord who is the Taliban commander in North Waziristan. Bahadar has demanded the military end the operation in the Jani Khel and Baka Khel tribal areas in the neighboring district of Bannu, and has threatened to attack government forces.
The Pakistani government has decided not to target Bahadar and senior Taliban commanders Siraj Haqqani and Mullah Nazir. Earlier today, the government issued bounties for Baitullah and his 10 most senior deputies. Noticeably absent from the wanted list were Bahadar, Sirah, and Nazir.
The military is also conducting operations in South Waziristan. Earlier today, the military killed 11 Taliban fighters in airstrikes in the towns of Kaniguram, Shah Alam, and Raghhzai.
The airstrikes took place after Taliban forces under the command of Baitullah Mehsud attacked two military forts near Wana. Two soldiers were killed and four more were wounded in the attacks.
Yesterday the military claimed 16 Taliban fighters and four al Qaeda operatives were killed in airstrikes in South Waziristan, and another 13 Taliban fighters were killed in the Arakzai tribal agency.
The military also leveled the Bazaar in Jandola in the district of Tank. More than 700 shops run by the Bhittani tribe were destroyed in the punitive operation. Turkistani Bhittani, a senior member of the tribe and a Taliban commander, has sided with the government against Baitullah.
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