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Pakistan: 42 Militants Killed in Anti-Taliban Offensive


Pakistan: 42 Militants Killed in Anti-Taliban Offensive
Pakistan: 42 Militants Killed in Anti-Taliban Offensive

Pakistan's army pushed deeper into the Taliban territory in the lawless tribal region of South Waziristan Tuesday, claiming to have killed 42 militants.

The government offensive into the insurgent stronghold bordering Afghanistan follows a string of attacks blamed on the Pakistani Taliban based in the tribal area.

Earlier this month, a senior U.S. diplomat said Washington strongly believes al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is hiding in the region.

In Islamabad Tuesday, gunmen attacked a high-ranking Pakistani army officer in the capital's second shooting targeting a senior officer in less than a week. The army officer escaped unhurt.

With Tuesday's death toll, the military says 239 militants and at least 31 troops have been killed since the operation started on October 17. The numbers could not be independently verified because journalists are not allowed in the battle zone.

About 30,000 troops moved into South Waziristan from three directions to take on an estimated 10,000 militants and foreign fighters.

The Pakistani government says the Taliban is using the region to coordinate bombings and other attacks across Pakistan.

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