The Taliban has killed 15 members of Pakistan's security forces, in what the militants claimed was revenge for army operations against them.
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The men killed belonged to the Constabulary Corps, a paramilitary force that defends the northwest region of Pakistan, near the Afghan border. They had been abducted during a raid on a security base on Dec. 22.
Speaking to the BBC, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said the hostages had been executed in revenge for a recent army offensive against their group. Not only had soldiers killed 12 Taliban fighters in a Dec. 31 operation in the Khyber tribal district, Ehsanullah Ehsan claimed, they had then taken the "very dangerous" step of detaining the fighters' female relatives.
"We warned them to release them as soon as possible otherwise consequences will be very harsh but unfortunately they turned a deaf ear to our warning," he wrote in an email to the BBC.
The deaths come shortly after the Pakistani Taliban announced it would focus its efforts on fighting US-led forces in Afghanistan, which implied there would be fewer domestic attacks.
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