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Pakistan forces kill at least 25 rebels in southwest

Written by: Staff
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ISLAMABAD, July 5 (Reuters) Pakistani security forces, backed by gunship helicopters, killed at least 25 rebels in the southwest province of Baluchistan during an attack on a militant stronghold, a government official said today.

Paramilitary forces attacked the militants in the Dera Bugti district, an area where rebel tribesmen have been fighting for greater autonomy and more control over the poor, but resource-rich province's mineral resources -- notably its gas reserves.

''During a two-hour operation, security forces killed at least 25 militants and wounded several others,'' said Razik Bugti, a spokesman for Baluchistan's provincial government, adding that the casualty estimate was based on information from intercepted communications between the rebels.

REUTERS SHB KP2320

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