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Seven Pakistani Soldiers, Nine Militants Dead In Waziristan Firefight, Military Says

22 Sep 2018 Radio Free Europe

Seven Pakistani soldiers have been killed in a firefight after they raided militant hideouts in the mountains of North Waziristan near the Afghan border, the military says.

Nine militants were also killed in the battle near the Gharlamai and Spera Kunar Algad areas of North Waziristan, the military said on September 22.

The report said the militants had infiltrated Pakistan by crossing the border from Afghanistan.

It added that an army captain was among the Pakistani fatalities.

North Waziristan has long been a sanctuary for the Pakistani Taliban and other militant groups.

Islamic militants had a substantial number of sanctuaries in North Waziristan until a 2014 Pakistani Army offensive, after which most militants escaped to Afghanistan.

Pakistan has come under pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has accused Islamabad of providing militants a safe haven in the country before and after carrying out attacks on U.S. and other forces in Afghanistan.

Washington has held back hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid, citing Pakistan’s lack of action against terrorists.

Pakistan rejects allegations it is not doing enough to fight terrorism and that it provides safe havens for militants operating in Afghanistan.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

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