Pakistani kill or wound 25 militants in strike at Afghanistan’s border

Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships struck a militant hideout Wednesday in a tribal region near the Afghan border, killing or wounding at least 25 militants, an official said.

The militants had entered Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region after a raid inside Afghanistan. Army troops and three helicopter gunships attacked them, said Syed Zaheerul Islam, the top government administrator of the region.

He said between 25 and 30 militants were killed or wounded in the raid.

"They were foreigners. They had set up tents in mountains in the area," Islam said.

Islam said that militants were running a training camp and that the strike triggered explosions in an arms dump at the site, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from the Afghan border.

Pakistan _ a key U.S. ally in the war against terrorism, has deployed thousands of troops to North Waziristan where they have carried out operations against militants.

The latest raid in North Waziristan comes days ahead of U.S. President George W. Bush's visit to Pakistan during which the fight against al-Qaida and the Taliban will be on the agenda. Pakistani officials have denied in the past that arrests of militants in Pakistan are timed to coincide with events in the United States, reports the AP.


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