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Archive for Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Raid targets militants near Afghan border

March 1, 2006

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— Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships struck a militant hideout today in a tribal region near the Afghan border, killing or wounding at least 25 militants, an official said.

The militants had entered Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region after a raid inside Afghanistan. Army troops and three helicopter gunships attacked them, said Syed Zaheerul Islam, the top government official in the region.

He said between 25 and 30 militants were killed or wounded in the raid. He said militants were running a training camp and that the raid triggered explosions in an arms dump at the site.

"They were foreigners. They had set up tents in mountains in the area," Islam said.

The early-morning operation took place near Saidgi, a village about nine miles west of Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan said.

Sultan said the raid was carried out on "confirmed intelligence" that militants were in the area.

He did not have information on any casualties in the strike, saying that troops from a "special operation task force" have cordoned off the scene and were carrying out a search.

Last month, Pakistan protested to the U.S. military strike that hit the same village, killing eight people.

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