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Pakistan Police Say Taliban Fighters Hiding Among Refugees



Pakistan police say they have arrested 30 suspected Taliban militants who have been hiding among refugees in camps in the North West Frontier province.

Police tell VOA the suspects are Taliban fighters from the Swat Valley region, where the government is engaged in an offensive against militants.

The military had been urging civilians in the region to help identify Taliban militants, who were allegedly trying to disguise themselves among refugees by cutting their hair and shaving their beards.

The Pakistani army claims that 29 militants have been killed over the past 24 hours during the military offensive.

Bomb blasts Thursday in the cities of Lahore and Peshawar killed at least 14 people and wounded 80 others, after the Taliban warned of revenge for the government campaign against them.

In the first attack in the city of Peshawar early Thursday, two bombs planted on motorcycles blew up in quick succession in a crowded marketplace, killing six people.

Shortly afterwards, a suicide bomber struck a security checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, killing at least three police officers.

In Dera Ismail Khan, south of Peshawar, a suicide bomber rammed his three-wheel taxi into a police checkpoint, killing a policeman and two civilians.

Pakistani armed forces launched their Swat offensive earlier this month, after militants violated a peace deal and advanced to within 100 kilometers of the capital, Islamabad.

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