Some 150 Islamist militants attacked five security posts today in an unusually large and coordinated assault close to the Afghan border, sparking hours of fighting that killed 11 soldiers and wounded 12, officials said; 24 insurgents died. Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants often stage attacks in northwest Pakistan, but the overnight assaults were notable for their size and the level of planning needed.
The attacks underlined that insurgents in the tribal areas along the frontier retain significant capabilities despite multiple military offensives in the region since 2008. It is also rare for authorities to sustain—or admit to sustaining—such heavy casualties in a single day. Also today, a remote-controlled bomb rigged to a bike exploded on the outskirts of Quetta city in southwestern Pakistan, killing a police officer and wounding five more. (Read more Pakistan stories.)