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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

5 die as Pakistani forces raided hospital

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, Jan 1, IRNA -- Pakistani security forces raided a private hospital in the tribal region where suspected militants were thought to be treated and killed at least five people, locals and officials said Thursday.

Sources said that two soldiers were also killed in clash when the militants opened fire.

They said that 18 people were also arrested after the raid at the hospital in Wana, the center of South Waziristan.

An official said the authorities had received information that the militants were injured during a recent clash with the army and were treated in the private hospital.

He claimed that four militants were killed in the raid, started late Wednesday night and continued till Thursday morning. It was not independently confirmed if those killed were militants.

Officials said when the forces started operation at 11 p.m., to arrest the militants they resisted and started firing. Exchange of firing continued till 7 a.m., they said.

Locals said that a woman was also killed in exchange of fire between the two sides.

They said that employees of the hospital were among those arrested.

An official said that innocent people would be freed after investigation.

The hospital is owned by a local religious personality Maulana Noor Muhammad.

**1420

End News / IRNA / News Code 871561



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