Senior Pakistani officials say they believe troops may have surrounded a top al-Qaida member in a remote tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say troops, backed by helicopter gunships and heavy artillery, believe they have cornered Osama bin Laden's deputy Ayman al-Zawarhari.

President Pervez Musharraf said in a pre-recorded interview with CNN Thursday that a high value target could be among the militants because of the stiff resistance being put up by those fighting government troops.

U.S. officials have not speculated on the identity of the high value target in Pakistan's South Waziristan province.

On Tuesday, battles between paramilitary troops and foreign fighters erupted in the region.

The military actions coincide with a continuing major operation by U.S.-led troops in Afghanistan, aimed at hunting down al-Qaida and Taleban fighters and ultimately finding Osama bin Laden, who is believed to be hiding along the border.