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Afghans blamed for stoking terror row with Pakistan
3/8/2006
 

          Pakistan has blamed Afghanistan for ongoing clashes in one of its northern territories, saying more should be done to stop militants crossing the border, reports BBC.
About 140 militants have died in several days of fighting in North Waziristan, the army says.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said military action was the natural response when armed elements entered Pakistani territory.
Pakistan has long been trying to flush out militants along the Afghan border.
The Pakistani President, General Pervez Musharraf, has also criticised recent Afghan intelligence about the whereabouts of Taleban leaders in Pakistan, saying the information is out of date.
Afghanistan has denied the allegation, and said it had offered "strong and accurate" intelligence to Pakistan.
In the latest fighting, helicopter gunships have been used to end sporadic but continued resistance around the regional capital Miran Shah.
A curfew has been imposed in the city, but many people have reportedly fled.
These are the fiercest clashes between army and pro-Taleban militants since the army went into the area three years ago, the BBC's Barbara Plett says.
Several hundred militants seized government buildings in Miran shah Saturday.
It followed the bombing of an alleged militant hideout by security forces last week that killed dozens of people.
On Monday, 19 militants - including foreign militants - were killed when security forces moved in to Miran Shah to retake a telephone exchange building that had been occupied at the weekend, officials said.
Several more militants were killed at a checkpoint overnight. The teenage daughter of a government official was also killed when a rocket hit a residential compound.
"According to latest information, the death toll in 4 March fighting has gone up to more than 100. This is in addition to the 19 killed," Maj Gen Shaukat Sultan told the AFP news agency.
Abdul Qayyum, additional secretary for security for the country's tribal areas, said a daytime curfew would be in place, except for three hours in the afternoon to allow people to buy provisions.
Electricity was still cut off in the town but telephone services have been restored to some extent, officials said.
The military authorities expelled the BBC's Haroon Rashid from the area after detaining him for several hours at a security checkpoint on Monday morning on his way to Miran Shah. The officials did not give a reason for the detention.
Two other journalists working for foreign agencies have also been barred from entering the town.
Thousands of people have already fled the town while many more continue to leave to escape the clashes, witnesses said.

 

 
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