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Ten militants, four troops killed in Pakistan shootout

ISLAMABAD, August 4 (RIA Novosti) - Ten pro-Taliban militants and four troops were killed in a shootout in the North Waziristan tribal region in northwestern Pakistan Saturday, an army spokesman said.

"The militants attacked an army checkpoint in North Waziristan in the early hours of Saturday, killing four soldiers," Major General Waheed Arshad said. "The army retaliated, killing ten militants."

Arshad said five other soldiers were wounded, and a large group of militants escaped.

Islamists have stepped up attacks on army checkpoints and police stations, especially in the tribal areas neighboring Afghanistan, in recent weeks. Official reports say over 200 people, mainly soldiers and police, have been killed in the attacks.

Authorities link the surge in violence to Islamists' promises to revenge for the raid of the radical Red Mosque in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, in mid-July, which left over 100 people dead.

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