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Al-Qaeda militants held on border

Pakistani security forces have arrested three suspected Al-Qaeda militants on the porus Pakistan-Iran border while trying to enter the restive Balochistan province.

world Updated: Jun 30, 2007 19:31 IST

Pakistani security forces have arrested three suspected Al-Qaeda militants on the porus Pakistan-Iran border while trying to enter the restive Balochistan province.

The infiltrators, including two Iraqis and one Iranian, were trying to enter the Taftan area into Balochistan province, the border authorities said.

Fake ID cards were recovered from the suspected foreign militants, who were being put through intensive interrogation, PakTribune online said quoting unnamed official sources.

The police had nabbed three militants suspected to be Al-Qaeda activists from southwestern Balochistan region earlier this month. Pakistani security agencies arrested former Taliban defence minister Mullah Obaidullah Akhund from a hotel in Quetta in March.

Pakistan's northern area bordering Afghanistan has been a haven for foreign Islamist militants who have been engaged in violent activities in different parts of the world, including Afghanistan, Chechnya, China and India.

Pakistan, a key ally of the United States in its war on terror, has deployed at least 90,000 troops in its northwestern tribal areas to flush out remnants of the Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, and their local supporters.

Efforts to flush them out of their hideouts in the tribal areas, where they have received patronage from the local warlords, has put them in direct conflict with the Pakistan Army, which has suffered heavy losses while engaging the militants.