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Pakistani Government Strikes North Waziristan, Quetta Blast Kills 20

The Pakistani air force has attacked suspected militant hide-outs near the Afghan border, killing dozens of people and sending civilians fleeing.

Pakistani military sources say their overnight airstrikes in the troubled North Waziristan province Tuesday killed 40 people, all militants.

But local sources say civilian residents also are among the dead. Scores of local villagers fled after they were caught between the militants and government forces.

The airstrikes come after the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a blast that killed 26 soldiers two days ago.



In Baluchistan, police say a bomb exploded near a bus carrying Shi'ite Muslim pilgrims to the city of Quetta, killing at least 20 people and wounding another 20.

Authorities say the pilgrims were returning from a trip to Iran when the blast erupted about 60 kilometers west of Quetta. Police say many of the victims were women and children.

Baluchistan is a restive region that is home to Islamist militants and an insurgency demanding greater autonomy.

No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

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