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Dozens dead along Pakistan border

  • Story Highlights
  • More than 50 troops, 60 militants killed in fighting, Pakistan army says
  • Casualties comes after Pakistan launches offensive in North Waziristan
  • Fighting between Pakistani forces and Taliban and al Qaeda fighters
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From Syed Mohsin Naqvi
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LAHORE, Pakistan (CNN) -- Two days of heavy fighting between Pakistani troops and Taliban and al Qaeda militants near the rugged border with Afghanistan has left dozens dead on both sides, an army spokesman said Monday.


Children receive treatment on Monday at a hospital in Bannu following fighting between soldiers and militants.

Pakistani soldiers backed by helicopter gunships launched a massive operation Sunday in North Waziristan, part of the country's largely lawless tribal areas.

Heavy fighting continued into Monday, with 60 militants reported dead, Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad said.

More than 50 Pakistani troops have died since the operation began, Arshad said. The bodies of 30 of those troops have been recovered, he said.

The new push follows recent attacks on Pakistani security forces and the breakdown over the summer of a cease-fire between the Islamabad government and tribal leaders.

U.S. intelligence officials say the cease-fire gave al Qaeda a new safe haven in the tribal region.

American and NATO troops pushed the terrorist network and its Taliban allies out of power in Afghanistan following the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, but top leaders -- including al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden -- are believed to have found refuge in the mountainous border zone.

Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, has cracked down on al Qaeda militants and arrested many in the Waziristan area before the truce was reached, but critics say he has failed to prevent the militants from gaining strength within the country. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About PakistanThe TalibanInsurgenciesAl Qaeda

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