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Up to 30 militants killed in Pakistan

Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships have attacked a hideout of Islamist militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border, killing up to 30 people.

Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships have attacked a suspected hideout of Islamist militants in a tribal region near the Afghan border, killing up to 30 people.

The overnight attack in the North Waziristan tribal region was ordered after intelligence reports suggested that militants were gathered in a compound along with a huge cache of arms, ammunition and explosives.

The ground and air assault was launched late Friday near the town of Miran Shah.

An intelligence official in the region said the targeted compound belonged to a pro-Taliban cleric, Maulvi Sadiq Noor, but it was not clear whether he was present at the time.

North Waziristan has been the scene of fierce battles between security forces and Islamist militants this month.

More than 120 pro-Taliban militants have been killed in the region since guerrillas attacked government forces and buildings last week.

with files from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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