3 Pak soldiers found dead near Afghan border

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Pakistan, Nov 8: Pakistani tribesmen have found the corpses of three abducted soldiers in the North Waziristan region where al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked militants are mounting an insurgency, a security official said today.

Four security personnel were kidnapped from Razmak, south of the region's main town, Miranshah, on Nov 6 as they were going to duty. A security official in Miranshah told Reuters residents had found only three bodies in the Dangeen mountains near Razmak on Nov 7.

''They were shot dead. We don't know about the fourth one,'' he said.Another security official said two local government officials had also been kidnapped from Razmak yesterday evening.

North and neighbouring South Waziristan, near the Afghan border, are seen as hotbeds of support for al Qaeda and Taliban militants. Militants in South Waziristan freed 211 Pakistani troops at the weekend in exchange for 25 comrades captured in different raids. Those troops had been held hostage for more than two months.

Nuclear-armed Pakistan's security has deteriorated sharply since July, when Pakistani commandos stormed the Red Mosque in the capital, Islamabad, to crush a Taliban-style movement.

Nearly 800 people have been killed in militant-linked violence since then, including more than 23 suicide attacks.


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