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Pakistan arrests 40 renegade tribesmen in southwest

Written by: Staff
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QUETTA, Pakistan, Mar 25 (Reuters) Pakistani police have arrested 40 renegade tribesmen suspected of involvement in attacks on government troops and installations in the restive southwestern Baluchistan province, police said today.

The arrests were made in overnight raids on various hideouts of rebellious members of Marri tribe near the provincial capital Quetta.

''We have a list of people who have been involved in rocket attacks, bomb blasts and other sabotage activities,'' provincial police chief Chaudhry Mohammad Yaqoob told Reuters, adding that more raids would be conducted in coming days.

Baluch militants have waged a low-level insurgency for greater control over gas and other resources for decades, but have intensified attacks on government installations and infrastructure, including gas pipelines, over the past year.

Two people were yesterday killed in the town of Sui when their motorbike hit a landmine which officials say was planted by the militants.

Pakistani security forces launched their latest crackdown on Baluch rebels after a rocket attack on December. 14 when President Pervez Musharraf Musharraf was visiting the town of Kohlu.

Baluch nationalists say hundreds of people have been killed in clashes, but analysts say that could be an exaggeration.

REUTERS KD RN1635

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