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17 Militants Killed in Pakistani Fighting


A leading Pakistani newspaper says Islamic State is increasing its presence in Pakistan and that its local recruits are planning major attacks on key installations.

Dawn reported Saturday that officials in Baluchistan province in southwestern Pakistan revealed the development in a confidential report sent to Pakistani authorities.

The newspaper quoted the report as saying Islamic State is encouraging elements of two Sunni extremist groups (Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Ahl-e-Sunnat Wai Jamat) to join forces and carry out attacks.

The confidential report says IS is planning attacks on Pakistani troops conducting operations near the Afghan border, and on government installations and Shi'ites. It says the government in Baluchistan is calling for heightened security measures particularly in the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pakistani officials have not commented on the report.

In other news, Pakistani officials said at least 17 militants were killed overnight in a failed raid on a military checkpoint in a northwestern border region.

Military officials said the clash erupted late Friday in the Khyber tribal district bordering Afghanistan, when around 60 militants raided the security outpost in the Spin Qamar area.

After a battle lasting several hours, the military fought off the attackers. Officials say they found 17 bodies in the area Saturday morning.

The feared Haqqani Network of Afghan insurgents has long used North Waziristan for staging cross-border attacks on coalition forces.

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