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Home >> World
UPDATED: 14:29, April 06, 2007
Pakistani tribesmen seek gov't support against foreign militants
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The tribal Lashkar (force) set up to fight the hardened Uzbek militants hiding in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal region has sought support from the government, according to the DAWN newspaper on Friday.

The request for support was made by Lashkar Commander Malik Shrin Jan on Thursday at a jirga attended by tribal elders and armed volunteers, the DAWN report said.

Accordingly, all nine sub-clans of the predominant Ahmadzai Wazir tribe in the region raised the Lashkar on Monday to flush out Uzbeks and their local supporters from the area. Some 900 volunteers have joined the Lashkar.

Sporadic clashes continued in various parts of the agency and rival groups targeted each other's positions with heavy arsenals, officials said.

Pakistani military spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad on Thursday said that the army would offer help in fighting against the foreign militants if the tribal people demand.

In an interview to the private Geo Television, the spokesman said so far 220 foreign militants and their supporters had been killed in clashes with the tribesmen which started last month in South Waziristan.

He said the local tribesmen had started the action after an agreement with the government that they would drive the foreign elements out of their area.

The tribesmen had also given an undertaking that they would not allow anyone to use their area for terrorism and militancy, he added.

Meanwhile, a senior official in the South Waziristan Agency said the political authorities had yet to receive any formal request from tribesmen for air and ground support, according to DAWN.

Source: Xinhua

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