Fighting near Afghan border kills 52

Fighting between local and foreign militants near the Pakistan-Afghan border killed 52 people, a senior official said, a flare-up in a conflict that has pitted Pakistanis against suspected al-Qaida-linked extremists. Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said 45 Uzbek militants and seven tribesmen died in battles Friday in South Waziristan, a lawless region in Pakistan used as a rear base by Taliban militants fighting in Afghanistan. The United States fears that al-Qaida is regrouping in the area. Sherpao told The Associated Press that the latest deaths bring to 213 the number of people killed since the fighting began last week, including 177 Uzbeks and their local allies.