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Militants attack Pakistani Army as part of new demoralization campaign

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Dilawar Jan/AP

(Read caption) Pakistan Army troops are seen at Shaltalo in the Upper Dir region of Pakistan on Monday, June 6. Pakistani security forces had battles with militants in the Pakistani town along the Afghanistan border. Pakistani helicopters and artillery forced back militants who crossed over from Afghanistan and triggered battles that have killed many people, an official said.

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About 150 militants attacked a Pakistani Army checkpoint in the tribal region along the Afghan border Thursday. This comes on the heels of a series of US drone attacks in the region, which remains a bastion for various militant groups despite years of US drone attacks and Pakistani Army offensives.

Eight Pakistani soldiers and some 12 militants were killed. The attack, this time in South Waziristan, seems to be part of a new militant campaign of large-scale assaults to daunt the Army and government, Reuters reports. No one has yet claimed responsibility, but the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for a similar style attack last week that involved as many as 400 militants.

The US recently told Pakistan's military, its civilian government, and its intelligence agency that they all need to do more to combat a militant presence. Meanwhile, US airstrikes in the border region are up in recent months, with five last week alone, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

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