Ten killed as scores of Pakistani villagers taken hostage by Taliban

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Dozens of militants from Afghanistan have taken scores of villagers hostage in Pakistan’s north west.

The move has sparked fighting that killed at least 10 people, Pakistani officials said.

In the eastern part of the country, Taliban gunmen opened fire on a compound housing policemen, killing nine of them.

The militants who staged the cross-border attack appeared to be targeting members of an anti-Taliban militia in Kitkot village near Pakistan’s Bajur tribal area.

Pakistan has accused Afghan and Nato forces of not doing enough to stop Afghanistan-based militants from launching cross-border attacks, but has received little sympathy. The US and Afghan governments have long complained that Pakistan allows sanctuary to militants fighting in Afghanistan.

The militants came from Afghanistan’s Kunar province and took hundreds of villagers hostage, including anti-Taliban militiamen.

The Pakistani army surrounded the village and killed eight militants, prompting the insurgents to retaliate by shooting dead two militiamen.

Soldiers have rescued scores of villagers, but many more are still held by the militants or trapped in their homes by the fighting, said security officials.

The army called in gunship helicopters for support but have not been able to use them yet for fear of civilian casualties.

The police targeted in the eastern city of Lahore were training to become prison guards. The attackers shouted “God is Great” then shot the officers one by one

A Taliban spokesman claimed it was revenge for police torture of their fighters in prison. In addition to the police who were killed, eight were also wounded.

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