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Pakistan Says 60 Suspected Militants Killed in 2 Days of Fighting


Pakistan's military says its soldiers have killed about 60 suspected militants in two days of fighting in the northwest of the country.

Security officials say at least 10 suspected militants were killed in the Bajaur area Tuesday, while more than 50 insurgents and one soldier were killed in clashes outside Peshawar a day earlier.

Officials say the fighting is part of the continuing offensive against suspected al-Qaida-linked militants in the region.

Also Tuesday, in the Swat Valley, witnesses say police shot and killed at least five people, after thousands of people set fire to banks during demonstrations against civilian deaths in the military offensive.

Meanwhile, a senior U.S. official denied reports that a suspected U.S. drone crashed in South Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan late Tuesday. The Pentagon said no Defense Department drones are missing.

A Pakistani intelligence official said earlier that, although he had no information about the incident, he had heard rumors the drone was shot down.

Also Tuesday, the United Nations refugee agency appealed for $17 million in aid to help more than 250,000 people displaced by the fighting and floods.

Pakistan's government estimates nearly 90,000 people have fled the fighting in Swat and other areas of North West Frontier Province.

Some analysts say the recent bombing of Islamabad's Marriott hotel, which killed scores of people, was the militants' response to the military's ongoing operation in the tribal regions.

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




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