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Friday, November 10, 2006

Militants fire rockets at Pakistan troops, no casualties

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (AFP) - Suspected militants fired five rockets at a military fort in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan and separately kidnapped a driver supplying troops, officials said.

There were no casualties from the rocket attack in troubled North Waziristan district late Thursday. It came a day after a suicide bomber killed 42 Pakistani troops at an army base in the country's northwest.

"Five rockets were fired at a fort used by security forces on Thursday night near Mir Ali town. They missed the target and exploded in open ground," a security official told AFP on condition of anonymity on Friday.

Separately armed men snatched a private vehicle carrying supplies for troops at nearby Ippi village late Thursday and took the contractor hostage before fleeing, he said.

In another incident late Thursday armed men ambushed the car of a tribal elder who was travelling with four other people near Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan but they all escaped unhurt.

Nobody claimed responsibility for the attacks.

North Waziristan has been relatively peaceful for two months after the government struck a controversial peace deal with pro-Taliban militants in a bid to end insurgent infiltration into Afghanistan.

But the entire frontier region has been tense since 80 suspected militants died in a military air strike late last month on an Islamic school in Bajaur, another tribal area.

Officials say Thursday's suicide blast at an army training camp in the northwestern town of Dargai was likely in retaliation for the Bajaur incident.
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