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At least 23 killed in Pakistan violence

world Updated: Aug 04, 2007 21:08 IST

IANS
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At least 23 people died on Saturday in a suicide car bombing and fighting between suspected Islamic militants and government forces in north-west Pakistan, officials said.

Ten pro-Taliban gunmen and four soldiers were confirmed killed during an insurgent attack on a military base and a security checkpoint in Dosali near Miranshah, the capital of the tribal district of North Waziristan that borders Afghanistan.

A two-hour firefight ensued around 3 am after government forces came under rocket fire.

"We have the bodies of 10 militants, while the attackers were seen fleeing with five more bodies," army spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said. Four soldiers were injured in the attack.

In a separate incident near the Afghan border, a suicide bomber rammed his explosives-packed car into another vehicle in the remote town of Parachinar in the Kurram Agency.

Eight civilians and the attacker died and 35 people were injured, administrator Sahibzada Anees-ur-Rehamn said. Many of the casualties taken to the main district hospital were in a critical condition, according to doctors.

The target of the attack was not immediately clear. A number of businesses were damaged, and the electricity supply to the region was disrupted after cables were severed in the blast.

Islamic extremists have launched a string of attacks on security forces in retaliation for the raid by government troops on a radical mosque in the capital Islamabad in July.

More than 100 people died in the mosque fighting, which Islamic extremists have vowed to avenge.