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Five troops, 10 militants dead in Pakistan border raid: army

AFP , Monday 6 Mar 2017
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Five Pakistani soldiers and 10 militants were killed in a coordinated overnight raid at several border posts on the frontier with Afghanistan, the military said Monday.

The fighting took place in Mohmand, one of Pakistan's so-called tribal districts that form a buffer zone between the two countries, where the military has been battling Islamist militants for over a decade.

Pakistan's military issued a brief statement providing casualty figures, without mentioning which militant group was involved.

"Effective presence, vigilance and response repulsed (the) terrorists' attempt," it said.

Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa "hailed the sacrifices" of the Pakistan soldiers and called for greater numbers to man the border, according to the statement.

The toll could not be immediately verified since the area is remote and journalists are denied access.

The raid came at a time of heightened tension between the two countries, with Islamabad blaming Kabul for a recent spate in militant assaults that killed 130 people in February, after a relatively long lull in violence.

Afghanistan for its part accuses Pakistan of fanning the flames of an insurgency that has gripped its country since the Taliban were ousted from power in 2001.

Last year Pakistan's top foreign official Sartaj Aziz admitted the country hosted top Afghan Taliban leaders but said it used its position to wield influence over the group and was trying to bring them to peace talks.

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