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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Eight Pakistan soldiers, 38 militants die in fighting

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, June 17, IRNA -- At least eight Pakistani soldiers and 38 militants were killed in a tribal region Wednesday, official sources said.

The clashes erupted in Bajaur tribal region near the Afghan border where the security forces had declared victory over Taliban-linked militants last year.

The Wednesday clashes at Ghandai area of Bajaur have again raised concerns over the presence and ability of the militants.

Official sources said that the security forces also arrested 23 militants.

The troops backed by gunship helicopters and artillery bombed the positions of Taliban and also blew up homes of 10 militants who were wanted for involvement in attacks on security forces.

Pakistani security forces had taken control over most parts of Bajaur, one of the former strongholds of Taliban.

On the other hand official media reports that 16 militants have surrendered to the security forces in Tehsil Mohmand of the Bajaur Agency.

Taliban deputy chief Maulvi Faqir Muhammad is leading the militants in Bajaur.

Locals said that the security forces had also clamped curfew in most parts of Bajaur during the operation against the militants.

Meanwhile unidentified gunmen shot dead a local leader of a main Islamic party in northwest Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa province on Wednesday, police said.

Fida Saadi, president of Jamaat-e-Islami party at Hangu district was shot dead and the attckers fled afrer the incident.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack and police say motives behind the murder are not clear.

Several Jamaat-e-Islami activisits, including several local leaders, were killed in a suicide attack in Peshawar, some two months ago.

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End News / IRNA / News Code 1182211



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