6 Jan 2012

Provincial police killed by Taliban

5:39 am on 6 January 2012

Fifteen members of a provincial police force have been found shot dead in north-west Pakistan.

They were abducted last month near North Waziristan, a Taliban stronghold.

The Taliban says the killings were to avenge an army offensive in the Khyber district.

A Taliban told the BBC that 12 Taliban fighters were killed during an army operation on 31 December.

In response, men from the Frontier Constabulary were killed.

They had been captured in a raid on a check post in the town of Tank near North Waziristan a week earlier.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports there is speculation that there have been peace talks between elements of the Taliban and the Pakistani government.

Taliban factions have reportedly agreed to halt attacks on Pakistani forces in order to focus on foreign troops in Afghanistan.