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
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.