Pakistan

Pakistani Army Begins Assault Near Afghanistan Border

Residents claim civilians have been killed

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ISLAMABAD — Residents of Pakistan's ethnic Pashtun region of North Waziristan accused government troops on Monday of killing dozens of civilians during a military operation against Taliban insurgents.

The operation started just after a Dec. 18 suicide bomb attack on a checkpoint in North Waziristan, a stronghold for al-Qaida-linked Taliban militants on Pakistan's mountainous border with Afghanistan.

Speculation that the army might launch a major offensive in the frontier tribal areas has been building as the government's attempts to engage the Pakistani Taliban in peace talks have floundered in recent months.

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