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Friendly fire kills ambush troops

Friendly fire has killed 13 troops caught up in a militant ambush close to the Afghan border, a Pakistani military commander said.

Asif Yasin Malik said a mortar fell short during the fight in the Khyber region. The dead men include a colonel and a captain.

Pakistan's tribal regions close to the Afghan border are home to al Qaida and Taliban militants seeking to overthrow the US-allied government and establish a hardline Islamic state.

The victims were from the paramilitary Frontier Corp, which is being trained by a small contingent of American special forces.

The Pakistani army has launched several operations in the remote and rugged region over the last two year. The army says more than 2,000 Pakistani soldiers have been killed there since 2001.

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