Militants attack Pakistani Army as part of new demoralization campaign
About 150 militants attacked the Pakistani Army in South Waziristan, killing eight soldiers. Militants appear to be using large-scale assaults to undermine an Army already under heavy US pressure.
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About 150 militants attacked a Pakistani Army checkpoint in the tribal region along the Afghan border Thursday. This comes on the heels of a series of US drone attacks in the region, which remains a bastion for various militant groups despite years of US drone attacks and Pakistani Army offensives.
Eight Pakistani soldiers and some 12 militants were killed. The attack, this time in South Waziristan, seems to be part of a new militant campaign of large-scale assaults to daunt the Army and government, Reuters reports. No one has yet claimed responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a similar style attack last week that involved as many as 400 militants.
The US recently told Pakistan's military, its civilian government, and its intelligence agency that they all need to do more to combat a militant presence. Meanwhile, US airstrikes in the border region are up in recent months, with five last week alone, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
South Waziristan was supposedly cleared of militants in 2009 after an intense Pakistani Army offensive there, but many of the militants fled to North Waziristan, the Associated Press reports. US airstrikes have lately focused on that area because Pakistan has resisted staging an offensive there. North Waziristan's militants appear to be more focused on staging attacks across the border in Afghanistan than against Pakistani targets. Reuters reports that rumors of a major Army offensive in North Waziristan have driven many of the militants back into the south.