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3 Pakistani Soldiers Found Dead Near Afghan Border


Pakistani security officials say they have found the bullet-riddled bodies of three soldiers abducted earlier this week in the tribal North Waziristan region near the Afghan border.

Officials say the men were among four Frontier Corps troops kidnapped Tuesday by suspected Islamic militants as they were on their way to duty in Razmak, near the region's main town, Miran Shah.

The fate of the fourth soldier is not known.

Remnants of Afghanistan's Taliban and al-Qaida terrorists are believed to be hiding in Pakistan's North and South Waziristan regions.

Elsewhere in northwestern Pakistan, fighters loyal to a radical Islamic cleric seized more territory in Swat Valley Wednesday, after paramilitary troops and police surrendered their weapons to militants in the towns of Kalam, Madian and Bahrain.

Militants earlier seized the town of Matta and Khawazkhela, hoisting flags over captured police and military posts.

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf declared emergency rule last week in part he said, to quell growing militancy by pro-Taliban and al-Qaida fighters.

The government sent 2500 troops to the Swat Valley to counter the cleric, Mullah Fazlullah, who has opened an FM radio station calling for holy war against Islamabad.

Scenic Swat Valley is a top tourist destination - known as Pakistan's "Switzerland."

The advance of militants into Swat marks a branching out from their traditional strongholds in tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan.

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

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