Pakistani forces arrest 10 suspected militants near Afghan border

Pakistani forces supported by helicopters arrested at least 10 suspected militants on Monday in raids in tribal areas near the Afghan border, intelligence and army officials said.

The arrests were made in the lawless region of North Waziristan: two from a home in the main town of Miran Shah, and eight others, including a foreigner, in the nearby village of Dandi Darpakhel where soldiers seized rockets, artillery and other ammunition from houses, said a senior army official.

The foreigner appeared to be an Afghan, said the official, who is based in the northwestern city of Peshawar. He spoke on condition of anonymity as he wasn't authorized to speak to media about the operation, the AP says.

Residents in Miran Shah said troops had blocked off a road leading to Dandi Darpakhel and surrounded a house, believed to be owned by relatives of a senior Taliban commander, Jalaluddin Haqqani.

An intelligence official, who also requested anonymity because of the clandestine nature of his job in Pakistan's tribal regions, said tribal elders and clerics persuaded five local tribesmen inside the house to surrender. He appeared to be referring to the same arrests in the village as the army official. Another two men were arrested separately in the village.

Neither official identified the arrested men, and it was unclear if they had links with the Taliban commander.

Pakistan, a key ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, says al-Qaida-linked militants have been hiding in the North and South Waziristan tribal regions that border Afghanistan.

Pakistan has recently stepped up its troop presence at the border as it has come under pressure from U.S. and Afghan officials to prevent infiltration of militants launching attacks to sabotage Sept. 18 elections in Afghanistan.

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