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Pakistan Shells Suspected Hideout Near Afghan Border

March 8, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Pakistani forces have reportedly shelled a village near the Afghan border after an ambush in the region against the troubled North Waziristan's top administrator.

Pakistani military authorities say they targeted the hideouts of suspected pro-Taliban militants who have been fleeing fierce fighting at the nearby town of Miran Shah.

Tribal region administrator Syed Zaheerul Islam told AP that he was unhurt in the ambush on his convoy, which Zaheerul Islam said killed one of his security guards.

Bloody Fighting Continues

Residents told a correspondent for RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan on 7 March that the current fighting is the bloodiest in the area in two years.

More than 100 people have been killed in the area since March 4, when militants attacked government troops in retaliation for a raid that killed 45 militants last week.

Pakistan's military is trying to clear foreign militants from along its border area with Afghanistan, where suspected terrorists are believed to seek sanctuary from sympathetic local tribesmen.

Senior Pakistani and Afghan officials are currently engaged in a running war of words over security and intelligence issues that largely relate to cross-border insurgency, which Kabul accuses Islamabad of doing too little to combat.

(AP, Reuters)