Pakistan's military officials say eight soldiers found dead in a remote area near the Afghan border were executed in cold blood.
An Army spokesman says the uniformed soldiers were shot at close range with their hands tied behind their backs. The bodies were discovered Friday near Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal region, where government troops have been searching for militants of the al-Qaida terror network and their supporters since March 16th.
The spokesman says the men were taken hostage Monday, when their convoy was ambushed. A Pakistani general, Shaukat Sultan called the killings cold-blooded murder.
The military operation in northeastern Pakistan has continued despite rallies organized by Islamic parties, who accuse President Pervez Musharraf of pandering to American interests at the expense of Muslims.
Meanwhile, Pakistan has installed anti-aircraft guns and deployed thousands of additional troops and police for the eight-nation South Asian games opening Monday in Islamabad.
A Pakistani government spokesman said there has been no specific threat but the government is taking all possible precautions to ensure security during the games which include athletes from eight South Asian nations.
The games have been postponed three times -- the first time in 2001 following the 9-11 terrorist attacks in the United States, a second time during an escalation of border tensions between India and Pakistan and last year because of the war in Iraq .