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30 Pakistani soldiers killed in Khyber

| Monday, April 8, 2013, 9:06 p.m.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Four days of fierce fighting in northwestern Pakistan left 30 soldiers and nearly 100 militants dead as the army attempted to wrest control of a remote, mountainous valley from the Taliban and their allies, military officials said on Monday.

The army began its offensive in the Tirah Valley on Friday after weeks of fighting between rival militant groups forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee the area. The valley is located in Khyber, part of the semiautonomous tribal region bordering Afghanistan, the main sanctuary for the Taliban in the country.

The army has begun scores of operations against the Pakistani Taliban in the tribal region in recent years, but certain areas, such as Tirah, have remained outside their control. The Taliban have remained a serious threat and continue to launch attacks throughout the northwest and other parts of the country with frightening regularity.

The Pakistani Taliban have been waging a bloody insurgency against the government because of its alliance with the United States in fighting Islamic militants and to establish Islamic law in the country.

The group is allied with the Afghan Taliban but has focused its attacks inside Pakistan instead of Afghanistan.

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