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Pakistani Forces Destroy Waziristan Militant Hideout

Pakistani soldiers on patrol in North Waziristan (file photo) (epa) August 7, 2007 -- Pakistani troops, backed by helicopter gunships and artillery, have destroyed a militant hideout in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border.

An army spokesman said security forces targeted a militant compound in Daygan, a village near Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan.

Doctors in Miran Shah said several people were wounded, but there were no reports of fatalities.

North Waziristan is seen as a hotbed of support for Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, and Afghan leaders have accused Pakistan of failing to do enough to police the tribal region.

A grand council, or jirga, of Pakistani and Afghan leaders is scheduled for August 9 in Kabul, with the goal of building confidence and finding ways to confront resurgent militants.

But tribal elders from North Waziristan withdrew their plans to attend, saying the absence of Taliban representatives would make the assembly pointless.

(AP, Reuters)

Afghanistan And Pakistan

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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