Pakistani forces raid hospital, kill 4 militants

18:25, December 31, 2009      

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Pakistani security forces raided a private hospital in the northwest tribal region and killed at least four militants, locals and officials said Thursday.

Sources said that two soldiers were also killed in the clash when the militants opened fire in the hospital where suspected militants were believed to be treated.

They said that 18 people were arrested after the raid at the hospital in Wana, the main town in the Taliban strongholds of South Waziristan.

An official said the authorities had received information that the militants were injured during a recent clash with the army and were treated in the private hospital.

He claimed that four militants were killed in the raid, which started late Wednesday night and continued till Thursday morning. It was not independently confirmed if those killed were militants.

Officials said when the forces started operation at 11 p.m., to arrest the militants they resisted and started firing. Exchange of firing continued till 7 a.m., they said.

Locals said that a woman was also killed in exchange of fire between the two sides. They said that employees of the hospital were among those arrested. An official said that innocent people would be freed after investigation.

The hospital is owned by a local religious personality Maulana Noor Muhammad.

Pakistani army is wrapping up a major ground assault launched in mid-October against the Taliban militants in South Waziristan near Afghan border.

Source: Xinhua
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