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Pakistan continues Waziristan offensive, closes schools

Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked Taliban strongholds near the Afghan border on Wednesday on the fifth day of its offensive in South Waziristan. Pakistani officials say their troops are facing stiff resistance as they fight to gain control of the hometown of the leader of the Pakistani Taliban. So far, Pakistan says 115 militants and 16 soldiers have been killed. Meanwhile, in the rest of the country, authorities closed many schools after two suicide bombers attacked the International Islamic University in Islamabad where they killed four people. The Taliban has carried out a stunning wave of assaults in recent weeks in retaliation for the Waziristan offensive, killing more than 175 people. Army commanders say 30,000 troops are now fighting about 10,000 militants in South Waziristan. They say they expect fighting to last until winter makes it too difficult to continue.

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