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Attack kills 16 in Pakistan military convoy

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Musharraf rules out declaring a state of emergency
  • More than 10 others wounded in attack near in North Waziristan
  • Attacking militants believed to be linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda
  • Pakistan wracked by bombings after collapse of truce between gov't and militants
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From Syed Mohsin Naqvi
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LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- At least 16 Pakistani soldiers died Wednesday in an attack on a military convoy in northwestern Pakistan, an army spokesman told CNN.

More than 10 others were wounded in a separate attack near the Afghan border in North Waziristan, where militants have stepped up attacks in recent days.

Government forces in the region have been battling militants believed to be linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda.

However Reuters reported that on Wednesday Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf ruled out declaring a state of emergency in the face of mounting militant violence, according to a government official.

Pakistan has been wracked by a series of bombings in the northwest, after the collapse of a truce between the government and tribal militants.

Attacks since late last week, targeting Pakistani military and police, have killed at least 79 people, authorities said.

Over the weekend 55 people were killed in attacks targeting security forces.

On Sunday an army spokesman said a three-part bomb attack launched on a joint Pakistani police-army convoy killed 14 people traveling through the mountainous region near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Later, a suicide bombing at police recruitment lines in Dera Ismail Khan killed 17 police and recruits, a police official said.

On Saturday, 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed by a suicide car bomber who crashed his car into two army vehicles near Miran Shah, a troubled tribal area in the volatile North Waziristan region.

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Militants linked to the Taliban in the area near the Afghan border said the truce reached with the Pakistani government last September is off.

That deal has been blamed for an increase in attacks on U.S. troops over the border in Afghanistan, as Taliban fighters were able to prepare, train, and reconstitute weapons supplies without interference from the Pakistani government.

The Taliban was in power in Afghanistan and sheltered al Qaeda until the U.S.-led war following the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Now, U.S. intelligence officials say al Qaeda has established a "safe haven" in Waziristan, just over the border into Pakistan -- and that Osama bin Laden is believed to be in the area. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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