Officials in northwestern Pakistan say militants have killed at least
five people, including a district police chief, and kidnapped a local
Local authorities say the deadly clash late Sunday occurred in Lower Dir, wedged between Bajaur and Swat regions.
They say police were chasing militants suspected in the kidnapping when the militants opened fire, killing five people, including district police chief Khurshid Khan and two of his bodyguards. The militants managed to escape with the kidnapped man.
Earlier Sunday, suspected Taliban militants kidnapped 12 Pakistani policemen from a security post in the Khyber region bordering Afghanistan.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping, but Pakistani authorities blamed the attack on Taliban insurgents. They said efforts to secure the policemen's release are under way.
The 12 policemen were kidnapped in the same region where a suicide bomber killed at least 50 people in a mosque on Friday. The blast in the town of Jamrud was one of the deadliest militant attacks in Pakistan in recent months.
U.S. officials say western Pakistan's lawless tribal regions have become a safe haven for al-Qaida and Taliban militants responsible for attacks in Pakistan, as well as Afghanistan.