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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007, 11:19 GMT 12:19 UK
Fighting erupts in Pakistani town
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At least five people have been killed in clashes between militants and security forces in the Pakistani town of Tank, officials and locals say.

The clashes started after pro-Taleban militants attacked the local police station with grenades. At least three policemen were injured in the attack.

Tank has been the scene of pitched battles between government and militant forces in recent months.

Dozens of people were killed in clashes after a school was attacked in March.

Al-Qaeda 'hotbed'

"I myself have counted bodies of five people who were caught in the crossfire," said a Reuters journalist in the town, 290km (180 miles) south-west of Islamabad.

Police say 12 people, including a woman and the three policemen, were wounded in the fighting.

Tank lies at the gateway to the troubled tribal region of South Waziristan, regarded as a hotbed of support for al-Qaeda and Taleban militants.

The town has been under curfew for the past two days because of increased militant activity in the area, locals say.

They say that militants launched the grenade attack on the police station on Wednesday morning, and later on they attacked police and paramilitary posts in the area with rockets and small arms fire.

Fighting is continuing and more security forces have been called into the area.


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