Pakistan army battles tribal groups

Security forces kill six local fighters in clashes in North Waziristan.

    Violence has intensified in the Pakistan's tribal
    region, which borders Afghanistan [EPA] 

    The authorities had struck the deal last September in a bid to isolate foreign fighters and curb cross-border incursions into Afghanistan, but local groups scrapped the deal after security forces stormed a mosque in the capital, Islamabad, earlier this month.
     
    Waziristan has long been regarded as a safe haven for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters sheltered by their local Pashtun allies.
     
    Al-Qaeda
     
    George Bush, the US president, said on Saturday he was troubled by a US intelligence report that al-Qaeda was gaining strength in the Pakistani tribal region.
     
    The report, made public this week, said there was a "persistent and evolving" threat to the US from armed groups in the region.
     
    In his taped weekly radio address, Bush said Pakistani tribal leaders had proven unwilling or unable to police the area themselves.
     
    US officials have said that Washington never ruled out any options when it came to striking against al- Qaeda or the Taliban.
     
    But Pakistan has said only its own troops could carry out counter-terrorism actions on its soil.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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