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Thursday, June 01, 2006

Rockets fired on Pakistan security posts

WANA, Pakistan (AFP) - Suspected pro-Taliban insurgents fired 80 rockets and mortars at four security checkposts overnight in a troubled Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of any casualties while authorities said they had launched a search operation in South Waziristan's Shakai region, where the bulk of the rockets were fired late Tuesday.

Officials said two soldiers were injured when their vehicle hit a landmine in a separate incident in Shakai early Wednesday.

Shakai was the scene of heavy battles in 2004 between pro-Taliban tribal militants and Pakistani troops deployed in the region to hunt them down.

The region has seen little violence since early last year after the Pakistani military said it had killed or captured most of the militants and the rest had fled.

"Some 50 rockets and 10 mortars landed in the vicinity of the Landinoor military camp in Shakai but we have no reports of any casualties," a senior security official in Wana, the main town in South Waziristan district, told AFP.

The official said 20 more rockets were fired at three other camps, including two in North Waziristan, where the Pakistani military say they killed nearly 200 pro-Taliban militants in fighting in March this year.

Pakistan has deployed around 80,000 troops in the rugged region believed to be home to Taliban and Al-Qaeda fugitives who sneaked into the region after the fall of hardline Taliban regime in
Afghanistan in late 2001.
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