Unknown assailants fired rockets at a military post in a Pakistani tribal region near Afghanistan, killing seven soldiers and injuring two others, officials said Tuesday. The attack on a mountaintop military post in Sarbandki village began around midnight Monday and continued intermittently until shortly before dawn on Tuesday. Sarbandki is east of Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan tribal region.
A senior security official said seven soldiers were killed and two were injured. He spoke on condition of anonymity in line with policy. The official said both army troops and border guards were at the checkpoint but their total number was not known.
The injured were taken to a hospital in Bannu, a town on the edge of North Waziristan, another security official said, also speaking on condition on anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to the media. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the latest in a series of assaults on security forces in the region.
Officials have blamed previous attacks on "miscreants", a term used to describe militants operating in the rugged area bordering Afghanistan.
Pakistan has placed around 70,000 troops and paramilitary forces along its border with Afghanistan to weed out alleged al-Qaida and Taliban sympathizers and extremists. Earlier Monday, assailants had fired rockets at a security checkpoint and exchanged fire with troops west of Miran Shah, injuring three. That attack happened just three days after eight soldiers were ambushed and killed in an assault on another checkpoint.
Last month, a senior al-Qaida suspect from Egypt, Hamza Rabia, was killed in the area. Pakistan denied residents' claims that he died in a U.S. missile strike, reports the AP. I.L.