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Taleban kills 21 kidnapped Pakistani soldiers: Officials

Published on Dec 30, 2012 6:04 AM
This frame grab taken on December 28, 2012 from undated video footage released by the Tehreek-e-Taleban Pakistan (TTP) shows Pakistani Taleban leader Hakimullah Mehsud (right) and his deputy Wali-ur Rehman talking an undisclosed location in Pakistan. -- PHOTO: AFP

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) - Taleban militants have shot dead 21 Pakistani soldiers who they had kidnapped in raids on two camps outside Peshawar in the troubled north-west of the country, officials said on Sunday.

Around 200 militants, armed with heavy weapons including mortars and rocket launchers, stormed the government paramilitary camps before dawn on Thursday, killing two security personnel and kidnapping 23.

Officials said the bodies of 21 security personnel had been discovered in the wilderness not far from the camps, their hands tied before they were shot. Two others - one wounded and one unhurt - were also found. The camps are outside Peshawar, the main city of north-west Pakistan, close to the restive tribal areas that border Afghanistan, which are regarded as havens for Taleban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

"We found 21 bullet riddled bodies of security personnel a short while ago in an uninhabited area," local government official Naveed Akbar told AFP. "One was found alive but wounded and admitted to hospital while another managed to escape unhurt."

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