Militant Attacks Kill Five in North West Pakistan

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Peshawar:  At least five people including three policemen were killed on Wednesday in two militant clashes near Pakistan's Swat Valley, officials said.

In the first incident, gunmen ambushed a car of local pro-government fighters in the Kooza Bandi village of Swat Valley, killing three people including a police guard, district police chief Sher Akbar told AFP.

Nobody claimed responsibility but Taliban militants have carried out such attacks in the past.

Pro-government militias rose up in reaction to the Taliban's brutal rule of the Swat Valley between 2007-2009, when the militants grew unpopular for killing tribal elders, razing schools and kidnapping people for ransom.

Separately, up to six militants stormed a checkpoint in the northwestern town of Dargai, that lies in the Malakand region neighbouring Swat, killing two police, local officials said.

"Two security force personnel embraced martyrdom in an attack at the checkpoint," Fayyaz Khan, a local government official told AFP.

A Taliban insurgency in Swat began in 2007, with the militants taking de facto control for two years until an army operation was launched to reclaim the popular tourist destination.

Pakistan has been battling a homegrown Islamist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives for the past decade.


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