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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Fierce Fighting Rages Along Afghan Border

MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan -- Four days of fierce fighting between Islamic militants and security forces near the Afghan border has killed as many as 250 people in some of the deadliest clashes on Pakistani soil since it threw its support behind the U.S.-led war on terrorism in 2001, the army said Tuesday.

Airstrikes hit a village bazaar in the North Waziristan tribal region Tuesday afternoon, and more than 50 militants and civilians were killed and scores more were wounded, resident Noor Hassan said. "The bombing destroyed many shops and homes," Hassan said by telephone. "We are leaving."

Twelve explosions rocked the village and bombs also hit the nearby village of Hader Khel, Hassan said.

Army spokesman Major General Waheed Arshad said military aircraft struck "one or two places" near the town of Mir Ali and that there were unconfirmed reports that about 50 militants were killed. Also Tuesday, a roadside bomb killed two soldiers, the army said.

Fighting broke out in North Waziristan on Saturday after roadside bomb hit a truckload of paramilitary troops. The bodies of dozens of soldiers, many with their throats slit, have been recovered from deserted areas of the region, fleeing residents said.

The violence comes as General Pervez Musharraf tries to secure another term as president, vowing to shore up Pakistan's troubled effort against Islamic extremism.

The army appeared to be resorting to heavy firepower. Pakistani troops have suffered mounting losses as they try to reassert state authority in a swath of mountainous territory where warlords supportive of the Taliban and al-Qaida have seized control.