Pakistani troops launch operation near Afghan border to fight militants

Pakistani troops backed by helicopter gunships launched an operation in a remote northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border Wednesday, but it was not immediately clear whether they had arrested any terror suspects.

The operation began before dawn on the outskirts of Miran Shah, the scene of several raids on militant hide-outs in recent weeks.

"We sent our troops to villages near Miran Shah after receiving information that some terrorists are hiding there," said the official, adding the troops had not faced any resistance.

Miran Shah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal region, has been the scene of several army operations in recent weeks.

The latest offensive came a day after U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley met with President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and praised him for deploying troops in tribal areas near Afghanistan to combat terrorism.

Pakistan, a key ally of the United States in its war on terror, has deployed about 80,000 troops near Afghanistan to capture remnants of the Taliban and al-Qaida, the AP reports.

Photo: Pakistan Times

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