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Clashes Between Pakistani Tribesmen, Foreign Militants Kill 54


Pakistan says renewed fighting between local tribesmen and foreign militants in the South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan left at least 54 people dead Friday.

Interior Minister Aftab Khan Sherpao said 45 of the dead are foreign militants, mostly Uzbeks. He said the latest deaths bring to at least 177 the number of foreign militants killed since the clashes erupted last week.

A Taleban tribal elder has vowed the fighting will continue until the foreign militants are driven out of the region. A fragile ceasefire was broken earlier this week.

The government says seven Uzbeks were killed Thursday when South Waziristan residents attacked a school used by the foreign militants as a base near the region's main town of Wana.

Last week, fighting in Wana killed an estimated 160 people, most of them Uzbek and Chechen fighters.

Pakistan has made several deals with local tribal groups in an effort to drive out extremists in remote areas.

Pakistan has been criticized for the agreements, signed with tribal leaders in North and South Waziristan. NATO and U.S. officials say attacks in Afghanistan have increased since the pacts went into effect.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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