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Despite promises to talk, new Pakistan PM gets tough on insurgents

By Maria Golovnina and Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Months after promising peace talks with Islamist insurgents, Pakistan's new prime minister appears to be backing down and accepting that the use of military force may be unavoidable in the face of escalating violence across the South Asian country. Almost 200 people have been killed in rebel attacks in Pakistan since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif came to power last month, advocating peace talks with the Pakistani branch of the Taliban.

Pakistan clashes kill four soldiers, 15 militants

At least 15 militants and four soldiers were killed during clashes in a tribal district in northwest Pakistan, security officials said Saturday. The confrontation started on Friday and continued until Saturday morning in Khyber, one of the seven tribal districts along the Afghan border, officials said. "During exchange of fire, troops killed at least 15 militants and destroyed their two hideouts," a senior security official told AFP. "Four soldiers also embraced shahadat (martyrdom) in the operation," the official added.

Tourists flock to Pakistan Kashmir valley in rare boom

Success stories can be rare in Pakistan, but business is booming in one Kashmir tourist spot as the region rebuilds after a devastating earthquake and shrugs off associations with violence. Hundreds of thousands of Pakistani tourists drawn to the lakes and glaciers of the Neelum valley are injecting desperately needed money into one of the poorest parts of the country. Westerners stopped coming to the Himalayas of Pakistani-Kashmir years ago, put off by its reputation as a training ground for Islamist militant groups and the risk of sporadic conflict with India.

Report reveals Pakistan-US 'understanding' on drones

Pakistan reached an understanding with the United States on drone strikes targeting Islamist militants and the attacks can be useful, according leaked remarks from a former intelligence chief. Pakistan publicly condemns US missile attacks on Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives as a violation of its sovereignty, but the new revelations are the latest sign of double-dealing in private. They come in findings of a Pakistani investigation into how Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden evaded detection for nearly a decade, which were published by the Al-Jazeera news network Monday.

Bin Laden's life on the run revealed by Pakistani inquiry

By Maria Golovnina ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Osama bin Laden lived in plain sight for almost a decade and was once even pulled over for speeding but not apprehended, thanks to the incompetence of Pakistan's intelligence and security services, an official report into his killing said on Monday. The report, leaked to Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera which circulated it late on Monday, offers fascinating details about life on the run for the world's most wanted man, who, it says, wore a cowboy hat to avoid being spotted from above.

Leaked report lambasts Pakistan failures over Bin Laden

A leaked report Monday accused Pakistan of complacency, collective failure and negligence that allowed Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden to live undetected in the country for more than nine years. A copy of the report from a Pakistani commission was obtained by Al-Jazeera and published on their website, six months after it was submitted in Islamabad but kept secret by the government. While many details of bin Laden's life in Pakistan have already been made public, its stinging criticism of homegrown failures will deeply embarrass the intelligence and military authorities.

Taliban kill 11 at tourist camp in Pakistan

Islamabad, Jun 23 (EFE).- At least 11 people, nine of them foreign tourists, died in a Taliban attack on their camp on Nanga Parbat, one of the world's 14 peaks rising more than 8,000 meters (26,000 feet) above sea level and located in far northern Pakistan, a police spokesman told Efe on Sunday. The foreign victims were mountaineers - five Ukrainians, three Chinese and a Russian - and the other two people killed were Pakistanis, presumably guides, the superintendent of the northern district of Diamer, Abdur Rahim, said.

11 people including 10 foreigners killed in northern Pakistan

Eleven people including 10 foreign mountaineers were killed Sunday in an attack by unidentified gunmen in northern Pakistan, a tour operator said. The killings took place at the base camp of the 8,126-meter-high Mt. Nanaga Parbat in the country's Gilgit-Baltistan autonomous region in the predawn hours of Sunday, the operator told Kyodo News, adding that the victims are three Chinese, one Russian, one Nepalese, one Pakistani and five others believed to be from Ukraine.

Gunmen kill Pakistan government allies

Militants armed with guns and rockets killed two members of a Pakistani pro-government militia and wounded two policemen in a tribal district on the Afghanistan border, officials said Friday. The militant attack in the northwestern district of Bajaur came just days after US officials said they hoped to open peace talks with the Afghan Taliban in Doha, capital of the Gulf state of Qatar. About a dozen insurgents attacked the homes of two tribal elders near Khar, the main town in Bajaur, late Thursday, administration official Abdul Haseeb said.

Pakistan summons US diplomat to protest over drones

Islamabad summoned an American diplomat on Saturday to protest over the latest US drone strike which killed seven people in northwest Pakistan, the foreign ministry said. The missile attack in the restive North Waziristan tribal district on Friday was the first since Nawaz Sharif was sworn in as prime minister this week calling for an end to such strikes.
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