MIRANSHAH, Pakistan – U.S. forces based in Afghanistan killed 24 suspected Islamist militants inside Pakistan after coming under rocket fire from across the border that killed an Afghan soldier, officials said on Friday.
The fighters, believed to belong to Taliban and al Qaeda forces, were killed late on Thursday near Lowara Mandi, a border village in the North Waziristan tribal region, Pakistani military spokesman Major-General Shaukat Sultan said.
“They are foreigners and suspected Taliban. They could be Afghans and people of Central Asian origin.”
Pakistani paramilitary forces in North Waziristan said the militants had fired missiles at a base for U.S. and Afghan forces across the border.
“The coalition forces returned fire using rockets and heavy weapons,” a paramilitary official told Reuters.
A witness said he saw U.S. helicopters engaged in the attack, while Pakistan’s private Geo Television said the fighters were killed by a missile.
A Pakistani intelligence official said Pakistani forces had arrested seven suspects after the clash…