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SLUG: 2-318419 Pakistan/Al-Qaida/Afghanistan (L)
HEADLINE: Pakistan Kills Four Suspected Foreign Militants near Afghan Border
INTRO: Pakistan's military says it has killed at least four suspected foreign militants hiding in a semi-autonomous tribal region near the Afghan border. Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
TEXT: Pakistan is boasting of a new success in its campaign to eliminate al-Qaida members and other suspected militants in its northwestern tribal regions.
Military spokesman Major-General Shaukat Sultan says the latest raid was staged against an alleged terrorist base in the North Waziristan territory, during which the suspected militants were killed.
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"The security forces conducted a raid this morning and successfully eliminated that hideout. As a result, two miscreants have been captured alive, out of whom one is a foreigner."
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The Pakistani spokesman says government forces suffered no casualties.
Pakistan has conducted several major operations in its tribal regions, where al-Qaida and members of Afghanistan's ousted Taleban regime are believed to be staging cross-border attacks inside Afghanistan.
This latest campaign began in June, and Gen. Sultan says Pakistan plans to keep the operation going at various levels of intensity into the near future.
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"Pakistan has already deployed about 70-thousand paramilitary on the Pak-Afghan border. We do not see a necessity of reinforcing this deployment."
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The clashes near the Afghan border coincide with a visit to Islamabad by Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai.
The Afghan leader met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Monday to discuss, among other things, the war on terrorism. A government statement issued after the meeting says the two leaders "reiterated their common commitment to fighting terrorism and enhancing" bilateral ties. (SIGNED)
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