Pakistan raid kills `Arab, Sudan fighters`

Last Updated: Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 15:21

Miranshah: Pakistan commandos raided a private hospital before dawn in a Taliban stronghold near the Afghan border on Thursday, killing four foreign militants and a woman, officials said.
Troops laid siege to the private clinic in Wana, the main town of South Waziristan, at 2:00 am (2100 GMT) sparking gun battles until around 7:00 am (0200 GMT), local administration and intelligence officials said.

A security official said the raid followed a tip off that wounded militants were brought to the hospital from Sherwangi, a Taliban-dominated area where Pakistan has been pressing a major offensive.

"Commandos and security forces raided the hospital. Militants fired on the troops and in the gunfight, which lasted more than four hours, four militants and a woman were killed, while 22 others were arrested," said the official.

"One soldier was also injured. The three dead militants appear to be Arabs and one of Sudanese origin," the official added.

The identity of the woman was not initially clear, the official said.

An intelligence official and a local administrator confirmed the raid and deaths of four foreign militants, but said their identities were not immediately clear. The intelligence official said 27 suspects were arrested.

South Waziristan is part of Pakistan`s semi-autonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border that Washington has branded the most dangerous region in the world and a chief sanctuary of al Qaeda plotting attacks on the West.

Last October, Pakistan launched its most ambitious offensive to date in its tribal belt, fighting on three fronts against Tehreek-e-Taliban in its South Waziristan stronghold, where the military says it has killed 663 militants.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, December 31, 2009 - 15:21

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