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Pakistani army launches offensive near Afghan border

By Maria Golovnina ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - 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 December 18 suicide bomb attack on a checkpoint in North Waziristan, a stronghold for al Qaeda-linked Taliban militants on Pakistan's mountainous border with Afghanistan.

U.S. Defense Secretary concerned about Haqqani network

U.S. Defense Secretary concerned about Haqqani network ISLAMABAD, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel wrapped up his daylong visit to Pakistan on Monday and " reviewed shared concerns regarding the activities of terrorist groups, including the Haqqani network, on Pakistani territory" during his meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the U.S. embassy said.

New Pakistan army chief takes command

General Raheel Sharif on Friday formally took over as the head of Pakistan's army, the most powerful position in the troubled military-dominated nation which is battling a homegrown Taliban insurgency. Sharif, named chief of the army staff on Wednesday, took charge from predecessor General Ashfaq Kayani at a ceremony at military headquarters in Rawalpindi. He takes over as head of the nuclear-armed state's 600,000-strong army with a daunting array of challenges ahead of him.

Pakistan minister gives missing persons assurance

Pakistan's new defence minister Thursday vowed to solve within weeks the controversial issue of "missing persons" from the southwestern province of Baluchistan who are allegedly held by the security services. Khawja Asif told reporters after a Supreme Court hearing in Karachi that 738 missing persons had been located and others would be found soon. The court has been investigating cases of missing people in Baluchistan, where the military and intelligence agencies have been accused of rights violations in their bid to end a separatist insurgency.

Profile: Pakistan's new Army Chief Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif

Profile: Pakistan's new Army Chief Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif ISLAMABAD, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan army has released the profile of the country's new army chief, Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif, who was appointed by the prime minister on Wednesday. Lieutenant General Raheel Sharif hails from a martial stock. He was born in the southwestern city of Quetta on June 16, 1956 to Major and Mrs. Muhammad Sharif. He is an alumnus of Government College Lahore and Pakistan Military Academy, from where he passed out with 54th Pakistan Military Academy Long Course.

'Are we going to be home soon?' Saskatoon couple can't bring adopted son to Canada

Waheeda Afridi was proud when she became a Canadian citizen nearly a decade ago, but now feels only anger and frustration over a bureaucracy that she says has abandoned her and her adopted son overseas. The Saskatoon woman and her husband, unable to have children of their own, became guardians of her nephew in Pakistan shortly after he was born there in 2010. But the family has been unable to bring the boy to Canada.

Pakistan on high alert after calls for protest

Pakistan on Friday boosted security across the country after Sunni Muslim groups called for protests against last week's sectarian violence in the garrison city of Rawalpindi that killed 11 people. Clashes erupted in Rawalpindi, which neighbours the capital Islamabad, a week ago when a procession by Shiite Muslims to mark the most important day of the mourning month of Muharram coincided with a sermon at a nearby Sunni mosque. The groups attacked each other, TV cameramen and security forces, firing gunshots.

Afghan loses British citizenship over terror training claims

An Afghan stripped of his British citizenship for allegedly travelling to Pakistan and Afghanistan for terrorism training lost his appeal against the decision on Wednesday. The 41-year-old, identified only as Y1, claimed asylum in Britain in 1998 and became a British national in 2004. But he allegedly travelled to Miranshah, the main town in Pakistan's northwestern tribal area of North Waziristan, for terror training in 2010, and was then captured by British forces in the western Afghan city of Herat in July 2011.

Bomb on tracks kills 7 train passengers in Pakistan

Islamabad, Oct 21 (EFE).- At least seven people died and 10 were wounded Monday when a bomb exploded that had been planted on the railroad tracks connecting the Pakistani cities of Rawalpindi and Quetta, police told Efe. The attack, for which no group has claimed responsibility, occurred near the central town of Nasirabad and the bomb exploded as the train ran over it, a police official in nearby Dera Murad Jamali said. Nonetheless, a source in the Nasirabad police had said soon after the explosion that the bomb was hidden under a seat in one of the passenger cars.

US, India eye joint efforts against extremist funding

The United States and India agreed Sunday to step up cooperation to prevent the financing of violent extremist movements linked to Pakistan, officials said. In annual talks between top economic officials, India and the United States spoke of "expanding cooperation on countering illicit financing, including targeting the financial networks and fund-raising activities of terrorist organizations," Indian Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said.
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