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Pakistan Says No Timeline For North Waziristan Operation

Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif says there is no timeline for ending the military's sweep against militant groups in the North Waiziristan tribal area.

He told the Pakistani TV channel Geo on July 7 that the operation will continue until it achieves its objective of "ending terrorism."

The Pakistani Army launched the military sweep June 15 to target Pakistani Taliban and foreign militants who allegedly have training camps in North Waziristan.

Military officials claim that 356 militants have been killed in the operation to date, most of them ethnic Uzbeks.

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan -- an Al-Qaeda affiliate-- has had a presence in Pakistan's tribal belt since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

RFE/RL's Radio Mashaal reports that some 572,000 residents of North Waziristan have been displaced by the fighting.

Based on reporting by

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