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Pakistan TV channel under pressure from military after shooting

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's Defence Ministry has demanded that a prominent news channel be suspended after it reported that the country's powerful spy agency was behind the shooting of one of Pakistan's most famous journalists, a media regulator said on Wednesday. Hamid Mir, a veteran talk-show presenter at privately owned Geo News, survived the attack after unidentified gunmen shot him multiple times in the port city of Karachi on Saturday.

Avalanche kills four Pakistani soldiers

At least four soldiers were killed when an avalanche struck a base camp in northern Pakistan, the military said on Wednesday. The incident happened in the snow-covered Astore area which falls in the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan, also claimed by India as part of the disputed Kashmir region. "At least 26 soldiers came under a huge snow slide Tuesday night near Astore. Despite extreme weather hazard, 22 soldiers were evacuated through heroic efforts while four soldiers embraced Shahadat (martyrdom)," the military said in a statement.

Avalanche kills four Pakistani soldiers

At least four soldiers were killed when an avalanche struck a base camp in northern Pakistan, the military said on Wednesday. The incident happened in the snow-covered Astore area which falls in the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan, also claimed by India as part of the disputed Kashmir region. "At least 26 soldiers came under a huge snow slide Tuesday night near Astore. Despite extreme weather hazard, 22 soldiers were evacuated through heroic efforts while four soldiers embraced Shahadat (martyrdom)," the military said in a statement.

Bomb kills three soldiers in NW Pakistan

A roadside bomb on Wednesday killed three soldiers in Pakistan's troubled northwest, officials said, the latest violence to hit the country since a ceasefire between the government and Taliban insurgents began. The remote-controlled device hit a convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps as it was moving from the town of Hangu to Kurram district, one of seven tribal areas along the Afghan border where militants have strongholds. A security official in Peshawar, the main city in the northwest, told AFP the blast killed three soldiers and wounded 11.

French aid agency staffer wounded in firing in NW Pakistan

Gunman on a motocycle fired on a vehicle being used by French aid organisation ACTED on Tuesday in troubled northwestern Pakistan, wounding the driver, police said. The attack took place at Jarma, a low-income neighbourhood on the outskirts of the garrison town of Kohat, where thousands of displaced tribesmen from the Khyber and Orakzai tribal district as well as Afghan refugees are living. District police chief Saleem Khan Marwat said staff from ACTED (Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development) were fired at by a man who fled on a motorcycle.

Thousands of Pakistanis flee tribal belt fearing more air strikes

By Saud Mehsud BANNU, Pakistan (Reuters) - Thousands of villagers have fled their homes in Pakistan's North Waziristan region, fearing a major military operation by armed forces after they said dozens of people had been killed in air strikes targeting Islamist militants earlier this month. The government says all those who were killed in the swift January 21 operation were militants, but local residents in the volatile region bordering Afghanistan said the death toll included many civilians.

Thousands of Pakistanis flee tribal belt fearing more air strikes

By Saud Mehsud BANNU, Pakistan (Reuters) - Thousands of villagers have fled their homes in Pakistan's North Waziristan region, fearing a major military operation by armed forces after they said dozens of people had been killed in air strikes targeting Islamist militants earlier this month. The government says all those who were killed in the swift January 21 operation were militants, but local residents in the volatile region bordering Afghanistan said the death toll included many civilians.

Pakistan officials warn of Taliban attacks in mountainous north

The Pakistani Taliban may be planning attacks on tourists in the country's mountainous north, where 10 foreign climbers were massacred last year, officials warned Monday. Thousands of tourists visit Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral each year, many drawn by the area's impressive mountains and glaciers, including the world's second highest peak K2. Pakistan has seen a surge in militant attacks in recent weeks and officials are warning these may spread to the north as the spring tourist season gets under way.

Thousands flee Pakistan tribal area fearing military action

Thousands of people have fled their homes in Pakistan's northwestern tribal district for fear a military offensive against Taliban insurgents is imminent, residents and officials said on Sunday. Residents said some 1,500 families or about 13,000 people left their villages around the towns of Mir Ali and Miranshah in North Waziristan, to migrate to relatively safer areas outside the tribal areas in Bannu, Dera Ismail Khan and Peshawar.

Six Pakistan police killed protecting Spanish cyclist

At least six Pakistani police officers were killed Wednesday while escorting a Spanish tourist as he cycled through the highly volatile southwestern province of Baluchistan, officials said. The cyclist and his escort of local tribal police were ambushed in Mastung district, some 55 kilometres (35 miles) west of the provincial capital Quetta. Baluchistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan, is one of Pakistan's most unstable provinces, rife with separatist and Islamist militants and plagued by sectarian bloodshed.
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