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Pakistani Troops Battle Militants, Leaving 46 Dead

Pakistani soldiers patrol near Afghan border
ISLAMABAD -- Pakistani officials say hundreds of militants attacked Pakistani security forces in a tribal area on the Afghan border, sparking clashes that left six soldiers and some 40 militants dead.

They said the fighting took place late on January 10 in the Mohmand tribal area, a hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda activity.

Some of the attackers came from the Afghan side of the border and were joined by local Taliban fighters. The combined force of about 600 militants then attacked a fort near the border.

The officials said the attack sparked gun battles that lasted for several hours, until the attackers eventually fled the scene.

Islamabad and Kabul have been unable to rein in the extremists that have been holed up in Pakistan's lawless tribal areas since they fled Afghanistan after the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

Last week, Afghan President Hamid Karzai told his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari that the two countries shared a determination to defeat terrorism and extremism.

With agency reports