Pakistani forces kill 16 militants in clash

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ISLAMABAD, Sep 17 (Reuters) Pakistani security forces have killed 16 pro-Taliban militants after they attacked a paramilitary checkpost near the Afghan border, intelligence officials and residents said today.

The fighting broke out late on Sunday in the Shawal area, 70 km southwest of Miranshah, the main town of the North Waziristan region, a hotbed of support for al Qaeda and the Taliban.

A Reuters reporter in the area said a mosque later appealed for funds for the burial of 16 militants.

A military spokesman said there had been clashes but he said he had no details.

An intelligence official said one soldier was killed and four wounded in the battle, the latest in a wave of violence in northwest Pakistan since July when a peace deal with the militants broke down and the army assaulted a radical Islamabad mosque, known for its links with the militants.

Several hundred people have been killed in the violence.

REUTERS SKB KP1723

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