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Pakistan army raids kill 40 militants

Security officials in Pakistan say the army has killed at least 40 pro-Taliban militants in raids near the troubled border with Afghanistan.

Pakistani forces, aided by helicopter gunships, carried out raids on suspected militant hideouts in Mohmand Agency on Saturday.

“So far 40 militants have been killed by our forces,” DPA quoted Amjad Ali, the senior civilian administrator of the district as saying.

“The operation is still going on,” Ali added.

The army said it had killed 64 pro-Taliban militants in the last two days in the volatile region.

The operation comes one day after militants attacked five security posts in Mohmand in an unusually large and coordinated assault. Twenty-four militants and 11 soldiers were killed in the fighting.

In a separate development, a powerful bomb explosion at a security check-post in northwestern Pakistan has taken 43 lives and left over one hundred others injured. The blast took place in the town of Khar in the Bajaur tribal region.

Reports say a bomber detonated her explosives among a crowd receiving food aid outside the World Food Program’s office.

Pakistan has recently experienced a surge in militant attacks. Since July 2007, over 4,000 people have lost their lives in a wave of bombings across the country.

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