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Rocket attack kills Pakistani tribal woman, girl

Written by: Staff
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MIRANSHAH, Pakistan, Mar 30 (Reuters) A Pakistani tribal woman and a girl were killed and nine other people wounded, including two troopers, during a rocket attack by pro-Taliban fighters on a military base, officials said today.

A firefight erupted late yesterday night after militants fired rockets at the base in Mir Ali, some 24 km (15 miles) east of Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan tribal agency -- a region bordering Afghanistan.

One of the rockets hit a house in nearby Hurmaz village, killing the woman and child, and wounding seven of their family, and the ensuing firing lasted for around an hour, according to security officials and residents.

North Waziristan has been scene of fierce battles between security forces and militants in recent weeks.

Around 200 tribesmen were killed in the clashes early this month after they answered a call to arms by militant Muslim clerics following a special forces assault on an al Qaeda camp in the area.

A large number of al Qaeda militants and their allies fled to Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal regions after U.S.-led forces ousted them from Afghanistan following the Sept. 11 attacks on Washington and New York.

Last week, President Pervez Musharraf, a key ally in the US-led war on terrorism, warned foreign militants hiding in the tribal region to leave Pakistan or face annihilation.

REUTERS CH KP1253

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