PARACHINAR, Pakistan — Pakistani troops repulsed a Taliban attack yesterday on an army base and bombed two militant hideouts close to the Afghan border, killing 22 insurgents in a region where the army is pressing an offensive, a government official said.
The fighting occurred in Orakzai tribal region, where many militants are believed to have fled from a major operation in their former stronghold of South Waziristan.
The official, Samiullah Khan, said a group of militants attacked the base with rockets and automatic weapons. Security forces retaliated and killed 10 attackers. Military helicopter gunships later bombed insurgent hideouts in nearby Chapri Ferozkhel area, killing another 12 militants, Khan added.
The government says more than 100 suspected militants and five soldiers have been killed in fighting in the region in the last week.
Officials have said the militants killed so far include Uzbek and Arab nationals.
The region has been the main base of the Pakistani Taliban commander Hakimullah Mehsud. A suspected US missile strike is believed to have killed him in North Waziristan early this year. Taliban have denied that, though they have failed to prove otherwise.
Also in the northwest, a bomb exploded in a shop selling movies and music in the city of Peshawar, Police Chief Liaqat Ali Khan said. Four people were wounded in the attack.
Many Islamist extremists object to music and television, which they consider un-Islamic. Scores of shops selling movies and music have been attacked by the Taliban in recent years in the country’s northwest.