Pakistani officials say three civilians killed by troops in fighting with militants

Three civilians were killed when Pakistani troops returned fire after their base came under rocket attack in a northwestern tribal region on Thursday, intelligence and security officials said.

A 4-year-old boy was also wounded when artillery shells fell on his home west of Miran Shah, the main town in the North Waziristan region, an intelligence official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to make media statements.

He said two women were among those who died when two homes were hit. But a security official, who also declined to be named, said two men and a woman were killed.

Three rockets fired by suspected Islamic militants landed in a field in the base in Dattakkhel, 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Miran Shah, before dawn on Thursday. No one was injured.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan had no information about the rocket attack and the civilian deaths, saying only the army will look into the report.

Security forces regularly clash with suspected Islamic militants in the area. Military officials say Central Asian, Arab and Afghan militants backed by local tribesmen are in the North and the adjoining South Waziristan tribal region, which border Afghanistan, reports the AP.


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