Fierce fighting kills 30 militants, locals in tribal Pakistan
Islamabad, Mar 20 (UNI) A fierce fighting between Uzbek Al-Qaeda militants and local tribesmen left 30 people killed in Pakistan's restive tribal region of North Waziristan today.
The fighting, which began yesterday, continued unabated in Kalusha town near Wana, the administrative center of North Waziristan bordering Afghanistan's Paktika province.
Local officials said the fighting erupted after a local elder Mullah Nazir, who backs the government's move to expel foreign militants from the area, asked supporters of Uzbek militant Tahir Yuldashev to surrender.
Governments of Pakistan and Uzbekistan have been concerned over the presence of leading Uzbek Islamist Yuldashev in remote and turbulent tribal regions.
Yuldashev is wanted in Uzbekistan for involvement of his Uzbekistan Islamic Movement in a series of terrorist acts.
During the Afghan Taliban era, Yuldashev had settled down in Afghanistan along with hundreds of fighters but fled to the Pakistani tribal region of Waziristan after the rout of the Taliban regime in December 2001.
The pro-al-Qaeda rebel sustained serious injuries in a military operation in South Waziristan in March 2004 during a shootout with Pakistan military but managed to escape. Since then there has been no trace of him.