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Pakistan Claims to Have Eliminated al-Qaida from Tribal Region


A Pakistani military commander says the army has completely eliminated al-Qaida from a mountainous tribal region near the Afghan border. Major-General Niaz Khattak said Saturday the army has seized control of South Waziristan from al-Qaida after months of heavy fighting. The general told reporters touring the region that more than 300 al-Qaida militants were killed and 700 taken prisoner. He says 250 Pakistani soldiers died. He said intelligence reports show there is not a single al-Qaida fighter left in the region and all al-Qaida sanctuaries are destroyed. General Khattak said there is no sign Osama bin Laden was ever in the area. South Waziristan became a refuge for many al-Qaida and Taleban fighters when the Taleban government fell in Afghanistan in 2001.
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