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Last Updated: Monday, 17 December 2007, 09:53 GMT
Nine soldiers killed in Pakistan
By Jill McGivering
BBC News, Islamabad

Kohat
The Kohat attack was near an army school
Nine soldiers have been killed in a suicide bomb attack in the town of Kohat in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP), the military says.

Bomb attacks on the security forces have become a regular occurrence in the NWFP area.

The attack comes two days after President Pervez Musharraf lifted the state of emergency imposed in November.

He cited improved security and progress in the battle against militants as a main reason for ending it.

Common targets

A military spokesman told the BBC that all those killed in the Kohat attack were soldiers. Four soldiers were also injured.

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They were on their way back from a training course, he said, when they were targeted by the suicide bomber.

Police and army check posts are common targets.

One of the reasons President Musharraf gave for imposing emergency rule on 3 November was the need to strengthen the country's efforts in tackling extremists in the country.

On Saturday, in a televised address to the nation, he said one of the reasons he was now lifting the state of emergency was because there had been considerable gains in the fight against extremists.

He cited in particular the army's progress against militants in the Swat valley.

That is also in North West Frontier Province and has been the scene of a bloody conflict in recent months between army forces and Islamic militants.

Speaking of Swat, President Musharraf said the terrorists back had now been broken.

But the general surge in suicide attacks in Pakistan does not yet seem to have abated.



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