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Pakistan Kills Militants in North Waziristan

Pakistani officials say security forces have killed three suspected militants in North Waziristan - a region where the U.S. has urged the country to launch an offensive against Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants.

Intelligence officials say security forces killed the three suspects during a "search and clearance operation" near Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan. Officials say a fourth suspected militant was wounded and two were detained during that operation.

Pakistan launched military operations against militants in South Warizistan in October. The U.S. wants Pakistan to expand the offensive to include the North, along the Afghan border. Afghan Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants have used North Waziristan to launch attacks in Afghanistan.

However, a Pakistani army spokesman, General Athar Abbas, told visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates Thursday that Pakistan could not expand its offensive against militants in the north for at least six months.

Separately, Pakistani military officials say five suspected terrorists were killed and eight detained in two other operations in the South Waziristan region. Military officials say the incidents took place within the past 24 hours.

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