Pakistan: Uzbek militants rock Waziristan

At least 10 people were wounded March 19 in fighting between Pakistani tribesmen and Uzbek militants said to be linked to al-Qaeda in the South Waziristan region near the Afghan border. The clash took place in Shin Warsak, a village seven kilometers west of Wana. Both sides were armed with rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. The region has been tense since March 6, when 17, including 12 militants, were killed in a gun battle between foreign militants and tribesmen. Authorities say hundreds of militants—said to be Uzbeks, Chechens and Arabs—have been hiding in Waziristan since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. The March 6 fighting erupted after the militants tried to kill a pro-government tribal leader. (Pakistan Daily Times, March 20)

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