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Pakistan Kills 4 Suspected Foreign Militants near Afghan Border - 2004-08-23

Pakistan's military says it has killed at least four suspected foreign militants hiding in a semi-autonomous tribal region near the Afghan border.

Pakistan is boasting of a new success in its campaign to eliminate al-Qaida members and other suspected militants in its northwestern tribal regions.

Military spokesman Major-General Shaukat Sultan says the latest raid was staged against an alleged terrorist base in the North Waziristan territory, during which the suspected militants were killed.

"The security forces conducted a raid this morning and successfully eliminated that hideout. As a result, two miscreants have been captured alive, out of whom one is a foreigner," he said.

The Pakistani spokesman says government forces suffered no casualties.

Pakistan has conducted several major operations in its tribal regions, where al-Qaida and members of Afghanistan's ousted Taleban regime are believed to be staging cross-border attacks inside Afghanistan.

This latest campaign began in June, and Gen. Sultan says Pakistan plans to keep the operation going at various levels of intensity into the near future.

"Pakistan has already deployed about 70,000 paramilitary on the Pak-Afghan border. We do not see a necessity of reinforcing this deployment," he said.

The clashes near the Afghan border coincide with a visit to Islamabad by Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai.

The Afghan leader met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Monday to discuss, among other things, the war on terrorism. A government statement issued after the meeting says the two leaders "reiterated their common commitment to fighting terrorism and enhancing" bilateral ties.