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Suicide Bomber Kills 3 Pakistani Soldiers


Military officials say a suicide bomber killed at least three Pakistani soldiers Saturday near the Afghan border.

A military spokesman says at least two civilians were wounded in the attack in the northwestern Bajur tribal region.

Elsewhere Saturday in Pakistan's troubled northwest, tribal elders met with Islamic militants to seek the safe passage of at least 120 Pakistani soldiers the military says are trapped in the region.

Pakistan's military has denied reports that the soldiers, missing in a remote area near the Afghan border, were kidnapped by pro-Taleban militants Thursday.

An army spokesman, Major General Waheed Arshad, said Friday the soldiers are trapped in the South Waziristan region due to fighting between local tribesmen and militants. He said the soldiers were traveling through the region Thursday when bad weather forced them to stop and take shelter.

They were feared kidnapped after they lost contact with army headquarters.

South Waziristan is a known stronghold for Taleban and al-Qaida militants, who have carried out attacks on Pakistani security forces in recent weeks.

Rebels in the region last month kidnapped 16 Pakistani soldiers and later released them. One was killed.

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

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