Nine suspected terrorists killed in Pakistani airstrike

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 27, 2010 13:05

 
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PARACHINAR, Pakistan — Pakistani airstrikes killed nine suspected insurgents Saturday in a tribal region near the Afghan border, an official said, bringing the total killed in a military offensive there to more than 100 this week.

The fighting occurred in Orakzai, a tribal region where many Pakistani Taliban militants are believed to have fled to avoid an earlier army offensive in their main stronghold farther south.

The clashes illustrate a central difficulty of Islamabad's efforts to eliminate the Pakistani Taliban: As security forces clear out one area, the militants slip into other parts of a tribal belt where hide-outs are plentiful and the government presence is minimal.

The helicopter strikes Friday targeted several militant hide-outs while ground forces were clearing various areas in Orakzai, local official Sami Ullah said.

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