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Scores killed in NW Pakistan clashes
Fri, 08 Apr 2011 05:26:43 GMT
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A security officer stands guard at the site of a bombing in Pakistan's northwest Mohmand region on December 6, 2010.
At least 50 militants and four soldiers have been killed in clashes between Taliban and security forces in Mohmand Agency in northwest Pakistan.

“As many as 50 militants were killed and scores of others were injured when [security] forces pounded militant hideouts, using helicopter gunships and artillery in different parts of Saafi and Baizai in Mohmand,” a Press TV correspondent reported on Thursday, quoting local officials.

In another incident, at least four soldiers were killed in clashes with the militants in Walidad Kore area in Mohmand.

Mohmand region has been a hotbed of violence and the focus of multiple army operations for years. Its location around the border makes it a valuable transit point for militants seeking to travel to Afghanistan, where the US-led forces have engaged Taliban militants.

Reports of fighting incidents in the tribal area shows that militants in the region retain significant ability to coordinate and mount attacks despite numerous military offensives against militancy in Pakistan's northwest.

Pakistan has significantly stepped up operations against the militants in the country's northwest and tribal belt, a region branded by Washington as an al-Qaeda safe haven.

However, in recent months Taliban militants have stepped up their attacks on police forces in what is viewed as retaliation for a recent Pakistani offensive against the militants.

Over 4,000 people have been reported killed in militant attacks throughout Pakistan since July 2007.

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