Peshawar, Jul 13: Twenty-five people, including 17 troops, four civilians and five militants, were killed and several others injured when the local Taliban ambushed a convoy of the security forces near the Zargari Bazaar in the troubled Hangu district of North West Frontier province.
Frontier Constabulary District Chief Karim Jan Khattak was also among the dead. Interior Ministry Chief Rehman Malik has directed on Saturday to raise the number of Frontier Corps (FC) for harsh action against militants in Hangu. According to the Interior Ministry sources, Rehman Malik applauded the bravery and services rendered by the martyred ADO Frontier Constabulary Kareem Khan
A senior government official based in Hangu told The News on condition of anonymity that the convoy was on its way to Hangu city from the nearby FC fort in Shna Waray area when it came under attack by Taliban.
"Militants armed with lethal weapons opened indiscriminate fire on soldiers from hilltops. The troops were caught unaware and had no chance to return the fire, suffering heavy losses," said the official.
He said no body or injured could be retrieved so far.
According to sources, the militants first attacked the same FC convoy when it was passing through Zargari Bazaar in which an eight-year-old child was killed and another injured.
The convoy, which was supposed to maintain law and order in the town, again came under attack of the militants from the hilltops. This time the attack was very severe in which the militants used heavy weapons.
After the attack, Pakistan Army gunship choppers targeted some suspected locations but there were no details about the casualties.
Also, artillery and mortar shells were fired on suspected positions of the Taliban in adjoining mountains of Hangu city.
Earlier, Pakistan Taliban militants led by Baitullah Mehsud on Friday claimed to have held 29-security personnel hostage in Hangu and threatened to start killing them one by one if the government did not stop the military operation against them and their men were not released.