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Pakistan drone attacks to intensify, Obama officials say

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• A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

As Pakistan sharply rebukes United States Predator drone attacks inside Pakistani territory, the Obama administration plans to turn up the number of those attacks in Pakistan's restive tribal belt, according to news reports.

The controversial announcement comes as fierce fighting erupted between the Taliban and a homegrown militia force that the Pakistani government is backing against the extremist force, according to Dawn, an influential English newspaper in Pakistan.

Three police officials, two Lashkar (militia) men and sixteen militants were killed in [an] overnight clash between Taliban and Qaumi Lashkar in Buner district, police and residents said on Tuesday.
The fierce fighting erupted on Monday night when the Qaumi Lashkar and local police force made efforts to enter the Gokand valley via Rajagaly Kandow from Pir Baba side to flush out Taliban militants who had sneaked in to the district on Saturday from neighbouring Swat.

The Taliban, who have recently carved out a safe haven in the northern Swat Valley, are now pushing to seize control of neighboring Buner province, reports Agence France-Presse.

Residents and police officials said a group of some 60 Taliban militants armed with light and heavy weapons managed to cross from Swat and take control of the mountain top in neighbouring Buner district.

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