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Pakistani military battles militants near Afghan border

From Nasir Habib, CNN
updated 3:14 PM EDT, Tue April 9, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Government troops take over heights from militants, official says
  • 23 soldiers, 110 militants killed, Pakistani military officials say
  • Taliban spokesman says only five militants killed

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A military operation against militants in Pakistan's tribal region has left 110 militants and 23 government soldiers dead, Pakistan's military said Tuesday.

A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban gave a different version of events, saying five members of the Taliban-affiliated Lashkar-e-Islam militant group were killed. He did not address government casualties.

The fighting is taking place in the Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency, one of seven districts of Pakistan's vast tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

A military official in Peshawar said government troops have overtaken mountain heights that had been in militant hands. The operation began Friday and is continuing, the official said.

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