Battles Rage on Border of Pakistan and Afghanistan

Death toll skyrockets as soldiers clash with pro-Taliban militants
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 9, 2007 11:31 AM CDT
Troops of Pakistan army take position at the site of helicopter crash in Mujhoi, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Muzaffarabad, capital of Pakistan's Kashmir on Monday, Oct. 8, 2007. One of three...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Violence has reached a fever pitch in Waziristan, where at least 45 Pakistani soldiers and 150 pro-Taliban militants have died during intense fighting over the past 3 days. Unconfirmed reports say another 50 rebels and an unknown number of civilians died today, according to the BBC. Pakistan’s ceasefire with al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in the border region broke down in July.

The fighting centers on the town of Mir Ali, a major militant base. Townspeople are reportedly fleeing in the face of bombs, jet fighters, and helicopter gunships. A Pakistani spokesman rejected a new ceasefire and promised to “continue punitive action till complete peace is restored.” Pakistan’s population, meanwhile, largely disapproves of the war, seeing the US as the chief instigator.