Thousands of families flee Waziristan battle zone

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MIRANSHAH, Pakistan, Oct 9 (Reuters) Thousands of families began fleeing a town in a Pakistani tribal region after three days of fierce clashes between pro-Taliban militants and security forces that killed nearly 200 people, witnesses said today.

Around 150 militants and 45 soldiers were killed in fighting around Mir Ali, a town in North Waziristan tribal region known as an al Qaeda haunt.

Families streamed out ot the town of 50,000 people and outlying villages, making their way on foot, in tractor trailers and cars. ''Eighty to ninety percent of families of Mir Ali have gone. Just one or two people are staying behind in each house to guard their belongings,'' Sher Khan, a resident, told Reuters.


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