Central & South Asia
Scores killed in Pakistan clashes
Tribesmen battle foreign fighters in the border region of South Waziristan.
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2007 02:18 GMT
Tribesmen are trying to drive their former allies from the region
At least 56 people have been killed in two days of fighting between Pakistani tribesmen and foreign fighters in the border region of South Waziristan, the interior minister says.
Aftab Sherpao said on Friday that the tribesmen were trying to force mainly Uzbek and Chechen fighters to surrender or leave the area.
He said: "The fighting is going on, it intensified today after peace talks failed."
Violence first erupted in the region on March 19 when the tribesman ordered the fighters to disarm, leading to clashes that left 160 people dead last week.
Explosions could be heard on Friday in Wana, the capital of the area which borders Afghanistan.
The two sides exchanged rocket and mortar fire, reports said.
"Fifty-four people were killed today, two were yesterday. They include 45 foreigners," Sherpao said.
'Successful policy'
The latest clashes were concentrated in the mountainous Azam Warsak, Shen Warsak and Kalusha areas of South Waziristan.
Residents say between 300 and 500 Uzbeks and Chechens are hiding in the area.
The government says the latest developments reflect the success of its policy to encourage local tribesmen to expel foreign fighters, instead of costly and politically damaging army operations.
Haji Sharif, a tribal leader, has ruled out any negotiations with the foreign fighters.
"We gave them shelter under our traditional Pashtun hospitality but they misused it and killed our people including tribal leaders," he said.
"We advised them to change their behaviour but they did not listen. Now we cannot tolerate them on our soil."
Thousands of al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters fled into Pakistan's tribal areas after the fall of the Taliban government in Afghanistan in late 2001.
Topics in this article
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
President Poroshenko arrives in Washington on Thursday with money and military aid on his mind, analysts say.
Early players in private medicine often focused on volume over quality, turning many Chinese off for-profit care.
Al Jazeera asked people across Scotland what they think about the prospect of splitting from the United Kingdom.
Blogger critical of a lack of government transparency faces defamation lawsuit from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
join our mailing list