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Scores of militants killed in clash

Pakistani security forces backed by helicopter gunships and jets have killed 54 alleged militants in a north west tribal region near the Afghan border, according to the government.

Spokesman Maqsood Hasan said three security personnel also died in the clashes in Mohmand.

Pakistan's military rarely gives details about how it distinguishes militants from civilians, and access to the country's tribal areas is severely restricted.

The Pakistani military has launched several operations against the Taliban in the Mohmand area, but the insurgents have proven resilient.

Pakistani troops were doing routine patrolling in the Paizai area of Mohmand when they came under attack, said Mr Hasan, a deputy administrator in the region. The troops returned fire and the army sent helicopters and jets to target militant positions.

In Peshawar, the main north-west city just outside the tribal areas, a roadside bomb wounded a local police official and one of his officers when it exploded near their vehicle.

Meanwhile, the bullet-riddled bodies of three men accused by the Taliban of acting as US spies were found in North Waziristan, a Pakistani tribal region which the US has repeatedly targeted in missile strikes.

Notes attached to the bodies claimed the men provided information to the US and warned others who did the same would face a similar fate.

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