Pakistani militants 'abduct 22 paramilitary police'

Pakistani troops in tribal regions, file pic Security forces have launched an operation to try to recover the missing men

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At least 22 security personnel have been kidnapped by suspected militants in Pakistan, government officials say.

Two men were killed in the attacks by dozens of heavily-armed militants on checkpoints in north-west Pakistan.

The Pakistani Taliban said it carried out the attack and claimed to have abducted more than 30 people.

Government officials say security forces have launched an operation to try to recover the missing men.

Set on fire

Officials say militants armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades attacked three checkpoints south of Peshawar, close to the border with Afghanistan.

They reportedly seized weapons and vehicles as well as troops from the paramilitary police, who provide security in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal regions.

Two of the checkpoints were reportedly set on fire following the attacks before dawn on Thursday. Government officials say the third assault was repulsed.

Pakistani media say about 100 paramilitary police were deployed across the three checkpoints.

It is the third attack on targets around Peshawar this month. Suicide bombers launched a raid on the city's airport two weeks ago, killing four people.

Last Saturday a senior politician of the Awami National Party was killed in an attack on a political rally. Seven others died in the blast.

In June, 17 Pakistani security personnel were beheaded after being abducted by a group linked to the Pakistani Taliban.

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