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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 08:11 GMT
Pakistan attack kills 'militants'
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At least 12 suspected militants have died in a missile attack in north-west Pakistan, local officials said.

The attack took place after midnight in Khushali Torikhel village in the troubled North Waziristan district.

Meanwhile, a Pakistani soldier was killed in fighting between security forces and militants in South Waziristan district, the military said.

The clashes come a day after armed men captured and later released about 250 schoolchildren in Bannu district.

"A missile came from an unknown direction on Monday night and hit a house, after which 12 people have died," a local administration official was quoted by news agency AFP as saying.

Intelligence officials said the dead were pro-Taleban militants, the agency reported.

But residents said the dead were tribesmen staying at the house of a local elder in the village which is on the outskirts of the town of Mir Ali.

'Desperate act'

Meanwhile, the military said fresh fighting had erupted in the Shishamwan village in South Waziristan. One soldier has been killed in the fighting.

The Pakistani military said in a statement that it could not "ascertain" the casualties suffered by the militants during Tuesday's fighting.

It said soldiers had arrested 12 militants in the area.

The military said troops were consolidating their positions in the Shishamwan area.

On Monday, armed men took 250 schoolchildren and teachers captive in Bannu district in North West Frontier Province.

Later, the group of about seven armed men gave themselves up to tribal elders, who were conducting talks. Some reports say they were given a safe passage in exchange.

No children were hurt during the incident, officials said.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf said the hostage-taking was a "desperate act" by "extremists".

He vowed to crack down on militants in the area, which is known for Islamist activity.

Pro-Taleban militants control large areas of the restive neighbouring North and South Waziristan.



SEE ALSO
Scores killed in Pakistan clashes
24 Jan 08 |  South Asia

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