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Militants, Pakistani Troops Clash Near Baluchistan Gas Fields; 15 Dead


Military officials say at least three soldiers and 12 militants have been killed in a clash in southwestern Pakistan.

Major General Salim Nawaz say the rebels ambushed a paramilitary convoy Sunday in the Dera Bugti district of Baluchistan province. The general says troops retaliated, killing the militants and destroying their hideout near natural gas installations in the Sui area.

This is the second such clash in over a week. At least 36 militants and troops were killed in the region last weekend.

Rebel tribesmen have been waging a long-running, low-key insurgency in Dera Bugti.
The militants accuse the central government of not sharing profits from the province's vast natural gas reserves.

Dera Bugti is near Pakistan's biggest natural gas field and was the base of late Baluch rebel leader Nawab Akbar Bugti who was killed in a military operation in 2006.

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

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