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Pak troops facing stiff resistance in Wana

Agencies | March 19, 2004 16:52 IST

The well-armed men who troops came across on Friday in a village in northwestern Pakistan while hunting for members of the Al Qaeda and Taliban seem determined to fight till the end.

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The troops are using helicopter gunships to strike at the hideouts of the militants who are using mortars and small arms but are well-entrenched in fortified mud huts characteristic of the region, Pakistan Army's Major General Shaukat Sultan told AFP.

Residents of Kalushah village in the Wana region in south Waziristan tribal district have shifted to safer areas since the encounter began on Tuesday when troops unexpectedly came under heavy attack from well-armed and trained men suspected to be guarding a top Al Qaeda leader, possibly Ayman Al Zawahiri.

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