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Bodies of 10 missing soldiers recovered in Orakzai

10 January, 2012

PESHAWAR: Authorities have recovered the bodies of 10 soldiers in an exchange of bodies with Taliban militants following a clash two weeks ago in the Orakzai tribal district.

The missing soldiers' bullet-riddled bodies were discovered after they went missing following an attack on their post, local administration and military sources said.

A source requesting anonymity told our sources that the 11 missing FC soldiers were still unaccounted for. "The recovered bodies have been airlifted to Peshawar," another military source said.

The recovery of bodies comes four days after the Taliban brutally murdered 15 kidnapped FC soldiers in North Waziristan. The soldiers were kidnapped from their checkpoint in Tank district on December 24.

Observers say the loss of soldiers in such a big number would demoralise other security personnel.

Meanwhile, AFP news wire reported that the dead soldiers were recovered in an exchange of bodies with the Taliban.

A security official told the wire that the 10 soldiers had been beheaded. "They (Taliban) handed over the beheaded bodies of 10 officials while we handed over four bodies of militants to them," the official said. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, in a phone call to a foreign radio channel, said his men were behind the December 21, 2011 attack.

"We take responsibility for killing the 10 soldiers whose bodies have been recovered from Orakzai," Ehsanullah told Reuters from an undisclosed location. "This is an exchange of bodies with them, as they killed 10 of our people and we have responded with killing 10 of their men," he said.

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