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Pakistan Continues Waziristan Offensive, Closes Schools


Authorities in Pakistan have closed schools and universities in the wake of a suicide-bomb attack aimed at students and professors in the capital.

Pakistani government forces have been attacking Taliban strongholds near the border with Afghanistan without interruption for nearly a week, and the bombing in Islamabad was seen as another in a series of attacks intended to retaliate for the army's offensive in the South Waziristan tribal region.

Government officials in Peshawar ordered all public and private educational institutions to remain closed through Sunday (10/25).

Four people died in the suicidal attack on Tuesday at the International Islamic University in Islamabad. At least 20 other people, most of them female students, were wounded in the blasts at the Islamic University, which has many foreign students.


In the battle zone near the Afghan border, Pakistani military officials said troops are facing fierce resistance as they fight to gain control of (Kotkai) the hometown of the leader of the Pakistani Taliban (Hakimullah Mehsud). The army reports about 115 militants and 16 soldiers have been killed during the past five days.

There is no independent confirmation of the tolls, as the region is closed to outsiders and no journalists are traveling with Pakistani troops.

Pakistani army commanders say 30,000 troops are battling about 10,000 militants in South Waziristan. They expect the offensive to last six to eight weeks, before winter weather makes fighting difficult.

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