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Pakistan Says 70 Militants Killed In Military Operation --> (RFE/RL) March 6, 2006 -- A local official in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area said today that some 70 militants have been killed in a continuing military operation near the border town of Miranshah.

Waziristan regional administrator Zaheerul Islam said fighting erupted on the evening of March 5 when militants seized a hotel in Miranshah and started firing at Pakistani security forces. Islam said 19 militants were killed in that battle.

Pakistani officials said some 50 militants and five Pakistani soldiers were killed in earlier fighting in the Miranshah area.

The Pakistani Army continued the operation today, sending in helicopter gunships to attack suspected militant hideouts in the area.

Reports spoke of hundreds of civilians fleeing the scene to avoid the violence.

(Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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