Fighting between local and Central Asian militants escalated in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, as the death toll from three days of clashes rose to more than 100, officials said.
Militants were exchanging mortar, rocket and assault rifle fire in four areas of South Waziristan, where the clashes broke out Monday. The government has been urging tribesmen to move against al-Qaida-linked fighters in the region.
Senior government and intelligence officials said about 105 people had died in the fighting, mostly Uzbeks and Chechens. The officials, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said their information came from army commanders and intelligence agents in the region.
Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Wahid Arshad confirmed that fighting was continuing Wednesday, but refused to give any casualty figures as the army was not involved.