Government officials and witnesses in northwestern Pakistan say Taliban
militants attacked a tribal militia that supports the Islamabad
government, triggering intense fighting.
Scores of people, possibly more, are believed to have been killed in
the fighting near South Waziristan. The casualty reports cannot be
independently confirmed, however, because reporters are unable to reach
A VOA reporter in Peshawar says Taliban militants loyal to Baitullah
Mehsud, the Taliban leader reported killed last week, attacked fighters
commanded by tribal leader Turkistan Baitani, a government supporter.
Reports from witnesses indicate about 40 homes belonging to Baitani's
fighters were destroyed.
Turkistan Baitani told VOA (Urdu Service) his forces are
fighting at several locations in a semi-autonomous area between South
Waziristan and the town of Tank in northwestern Pakistan.
Baitullah Mehsud, the top Taliban fighter in Pakistan, was reported
killed last week by an apparent U.S. missile attack on a hideout he was
using in south Waziristan. Pakistani officials say they are sure Mehsud
is dead, but they are attempting to conduct DNA tests to provide
conclusive evidence. Some Taliban fighters have insisted that Mehsud is
still alive, but they have not offered any proof of those claims.
Meanwhile, a bomb attack at a paramilitary checkpoint outside the
western city of Quetta killed at least two passers-by Wednesday, and
local officials in the northwest Bajur region said a land-mine
explosion on Tuesday killed two boys and wounded a third.