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Security forces killed, abducted in Pakistani Taliban raids

By Shaan Khan, CNN
December 28, 2012 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The raids occurred outside Peshawar, a government official says
  • Scores of suspected Taliban members descended on two base camps
  • A suicide bomber killed a politician Saturday in Peshawar

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- Militants in Pakistan killed two security forces and abducted 21 others in an assault on two military camps Thursday, a government official told CNN.

More than 200 people suspected to be members of the Taliban conducted the actions, said Nazeed Akbar, a government official.

The camps are nearly two miles apart on the outskirts of Peshawar. The militants swamped the camps on foot and in vehicles around 2 a.m.

Read more: Who are the Pakistani Taliban?

A gunfight lasting more than an hour ensured. Along with those missing and killed, at least one security force member was injured.

The history of the Pakistani Taliban

The Pakistan Taliban confirmed they had the security forces in custody. The personnel belonged to a tribal police force engaged in fighting militants.

The northwestern region of Pakistan -- near the volatile border with Afghanistan -- has a large militant presence, and it has been plagued by fighting.

On Saturday, the Pakistani Taliban carried out a suicide bombing targeting a Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial official in downtown Peshawar, Bashir Bilour. The official was among 10 people killed; 17 other people were wounded.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the blast and issued his support for Pakistan "to combat the scourge of terrorism."

Earlier this month, health workers administering polio vaccinations came under fresh attack in northwestern Pakistan, including an 18-year-old worker slain as he was vaccinating children on the outskirts of Peshawar.

Read more: Polio workers come under fresh attack in Pakistan

Pakistanis have viewed polio vaccination campaigns with suspicion after the CIA's use of a fake vaccination program last year to collect DNA samples from residents of Osama bin Laden's compound to verify the al Qaeda leader's presence there.

Bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in May 2011.

Read more: Military e-mails: Burial at sea of bin Laden followed Islamic procedures

In June, a Taliban commander in northwest Pakistan announced a ban on polio vaccines for children in the region as long as the United States continues its campaign of drone strikes in the region, the Taliban said.

Read more: The girl the Taliban wanted dead

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