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Pakistani Police Battle Militants in Karachi

Police in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, say at least two police officers and three militants have been killed in an intense gunbattle.

Authorities say security forces surrounded a building Tuesday in a suburb of the southern port city where they traded fire with a small group of militants.

Police said the dead included Qasim Turi, a militant leader accused of links to a banned Sunni Muslim extremist groups, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Jundullah, and a 2004 assassination attempt on a military commander.

Earlier today, Pakistani intelligence officials said a missile strike on a suspected militant hideout in a tribal region near the Afghan border killed at least 12 people.

Neither the Pakistani military nor government has officially commented on today's strike on a village Khushali Torikhel in North Waziristan. Residents said the dead were not militants but tribesmen staying at the house of a local elder.

In the past, similar missile strikes have been attributed to pilotless American drones. Pakistan and the United States deny such operations take place.

In neighboring South Waziristan, a soldier was killed today in a clash with Muslim militants.

Violence has spread in Pakistan's tribal area near the Afghan border in recent months. The region is believed to be a sanctuary for al-Qaida and Taliban militants.

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