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Pakistani Army Denies Soldiers Missing in South Waziristan Were Kidnapped


Pakistan's military has denied reports that more than 100 soldiers, missing in a remote area near the Afghan border, were kidnapped by militants.

Top army spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said Friday the soldiers are trapped in the South Waziristan region due to fighting between local tribesmen and militants. He said the soldiers were traveling through the region Thursday when bad weather forced them to stop and take shelter.

Tribal elders have been sent to negotiate with militants in the area to secure the soldiers' safe return.

They were feared kidnapped after they lost contact with army headquarters on Thursday.

South Waziristan is a known stronghold for Taleban and al-Qaida militants, who have carried out attacks on Pakistani security forces in recent weeks.

Earlier this month, rebels in the region kidnapped 16 Pakistani soldiers and later released them. One was killed.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.