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Pakistani Army Kills 12 in Militant Sweep

October 2, 2003

ANGORE ADDA, Pakistan (AP) _ Pakistan’s army launched a large-scale offensive against al-Qaida and other militants in a rugged tribal region bordering Afghanistan on Thursday, killing at least 12 suspects and arresting 10, military officials said.

An AP reporter at the scene saw four bodies, and Maj. Gen. Ameer Faisal said eight others were lying in an area about 100 yards away that was too dangerous to enter. Ten al-Qaida suspects, blindfolded and with their hands tied behind their backs, were led away from the area.

Faisal said two Pakistani troops had been wounded in the operation, and that other al-Qaida suspects had taken refuge in a group of nearby compounds. Gunfire could be heard coming from the direction of the compounds.

``Al-Qaida people have taken refugee in these five big compounds. We do not know how many people are hiding there,″ Faisal told The Associated Press.

He said the majority of those killed and captured appeared to be foreigners. It was not immediately clear if any top-ranking al-Qaida operatives were among them.

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