DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan A roadside bomb hit a Pakistani army convoy Sunday in a mountainous northwestern militant stronghold, killing 14 soldiers and wounding 20 others, intelligence officials said.
It was one of the deadliest attacks ever against the army in the North Waziristan tribal area, a major trouble spot that the military has been reluctant to tackle. The remote area is home to Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaida militants at war with the government. But it is also used as a sanctuary by other militants who have focused their attacks in neighboring Afghanistan rather than Pakistan.
The Pakistani military is worried that attempting to target its enemies in North Waziristan could trigger a backlash whereby other militants in the area turn against Pakistan. The most powerful group in the area, the Afghan Haqqani network, is also believed to be seen by the army as a potential ally in Afghanistan after foreign forces withdraw, making a military offensive even more complicated.
The attack Sunday occurred near Dosalli village in North Waziristan, said Pakistani intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. The blast completely destroyed two vehicles and damaged a third, they said.