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Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 16:21 UK

'Scores dead' in Pakistan clashes

By Syed Shoaib Hasan
BBC News, Islamabad

Pakistani soldiers near border with Afghanistan
Pakistani troops have been battling Taleban fighters near the border

Pakistan's military says it has killed 47 pro-Taleban militants in separate incidents in the rugged west of the country, bordering Afghanistan.

Thirty-seven militants were killed in helicopter-gunship attacks in Bajaur area, an army spokesman told the BBC.

The figures cannot be confirmed. Locals in Bajaur told the BBC five people had been killed in the violence.

A further 11 militants were killed - and more than 15 hurt - in fighting in South Waziristan, the military said.

According to the military, "around 75 -100 militants attacked Tiarza fort and Tiarza Bridge Check Post in South Waziristan" late on Tuesday.

"Security forces responded effectively and repulsed the attack," the military said.

Parts of the South Waziristan region, including the town of Wana, were placed under curfew after the clash.

On Thursday, an army convoy in Wana's main market was attacked by militants.

Locals in Wana have told the BBC the town is currently the scene of fierce fighting between militants and security forces.

Attacks on Taleban

Meanwhile, in the Salarzai area of Bajaur, a suspected member of the Taleban militia has been beaten to death.

The man was attacked near the funeral of two tribal leaders, Malik Zareen and Malik Bakhtawar, who were killed in a rocket attack on Monday.

The leaders had been trying to raise a tribal force to combat the Taleban in the area.

The Taleban denied having anything to do with the rocket attack.

The BBC has learnt that locals in Salarzai have decided to oppose the Taleban.

A building used by the Taleban as their headquarters in the area has been burnt down by armed Salarzai men.




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