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Musharraf: 300 Foreign Militants Killed in Pakistani Tribal Offensive


Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says local tribesmen have killed about 300 foreign militants in weeks of fighting near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

Speaking Thursday at a military conference in Islamabad, General Musharraf said the people of South Waziristan have risen up against the mostly Uzbek and Chechen fighters. He said the tribesmen have asked for and received support from Pakistan's military.

The tribesmen began an offensive last month to drive al-Qaida-linked militants from the region, as part of a deal with the Pakistani government. U.S. and Afghan officials accuse the militants of staging attacks against coalition and NATO forces in Afghanistan.

Pakistani army officials recently said 40 tribesmen have also been killed in weeks of fighting.

South Waziristan's pro-Taleban tribesmen previously had given refuge to the foreign militants, many of whom fled the U.S.-led ouster of Afghanistan's Taleban government in 2001.

But they have since turned against each other over killings and other criminal activity.

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

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