Pakistani soldiers killed in rocket attack

2013-06-20 11:05

Islamabad - Suspected Islamic militants attacked a military convoy in north-western Pakistan late on Wednesday, killing six troops, security officials said.

Around two dozen heavily armed militants fired rockets at an army vehicle on patrol at the outskirts of Peshawar city, the regional headquarters of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

"The sudden attack left five troops martyred on the spot while one succumbed to injuries in a medical facility," a security official told dpa on condition of anonymity.

There has been a surge in violence in Pakistan since the new government took over this month.

As many as 66 people including female university students and security officials have died in attacks claimed by groups affiliated with al-Qaeda in the past week.

In the capital Islamabad, the new government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called an emergency meeting of security agencies.

A security official said five militants were also killed in an hour-long gun battle that broke out after Wednesday's rocket attack.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but al-Qaeda linked Taliban rebels were suspected.

On Tuesday, at least 28 people were killed including a regional lawmaker when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a funeral in another district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.