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Jul 12, 4:20 AM EDT

Militants attack near Pakistan border, killing 3


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KHAR, Pakistan (AP) -- Militants killed a Pakistan army captain and two soldiers in an attack early Saturday in a tribal region near its border with Afghanistan, an official said.

A group of some 60 militants who crossed over from Afghanistan attacked an army post in the Ghakhi area of the Bajur tribal region, said Shah Nasim, a senior government administrator in Bajur.

He said another soldier and a civilian cook were injured in the attack, which took place when troops had a pre-dawn Ramadan meal before fasting. A later statement from the Pakistani army, however, said the militants attacked a vehicle killing the two, not an army post. The conflicting accounts could not be immediately reconciled.

Khan said the attackers later escaped to Afghanistan's Kunar province but a retaliatory attack injured some of them.

Pakistan's army largely has cleared the Bajur tribal region of militants but its posts often come under cross-border attacks. In June, militants killed 20 soldiers in three attacks. Pakistani troops killed some 50 attackers in retaliatory attacks.

Pakistan has asked Afghanistan's government to take action against the Pakistani militants who escaped a recent military offensive in the Swat Valley and elsewhere for safe havens in eastern Afghanistan.

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