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A Pakistani soldier monitors the border with Afghanistan (file photo) (epa) March 20, 2007 -- Pakistani officials say foreign Al-Qaeda-linked militants, most of them Uzbeks, have clashed with tribesmen in Pakistan near the Afghan border.


A military spokesman, Major General Waheed Arshad, said up to 30 people were killed in the fighting, which started March 19 and continued today near Wana in the tribal region of South Waziristan.


Afghan and U.S. officials have accused Islamabad of failing to do enough to crack down on Islamic militants based in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal regions.


(AFP, Reuters)

Afghanistan And Pakistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (left) with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in Islamabad in October 2005 (epa)

ACROSS A DIFFICULT BORDER. The contested border between Pakistan and Afghanistan is some 2,500 kilometers long and runs through some of the most rugged, inhospitable territory on Earth. Controlling that border and preventing Taliban militants from using Pakistan as a staging ground for attacks in Afghanistan is an essential part of the U.S.-led international coalition's strategy for stabilizing Afghanistan. Officials in Kabul have been pointing their fingers at Pakistan for some time, accusing Islamabad or intelligence services of turning a blind eye to cross-border terrorism targeting the Afghan central government. Many observers remain convinced that much of the former Taliban regime's leadership -- along with leaders of Al-Qaeda -- are operating in the lawless Afghan-Pakistani border region.... (more)


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