Attacks, clashes continue in wake of Musharraf departure

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- One of the biggest challenges facing Pakistani leaders following President Pervez Musharraf's resignation is how to deal with an al-Qaida and Taliban-backed insurgency in Pakistan's volatile northwest as well as in neighboring Afghanistan.

A military operation against insurgents in one tribal region has reportedly killed hundreds and displaced more than 200,000 people in recent weeks.

Today, police say security forces backed by helicopter gunships and artillery pounded insurgents there, killing 11 suspected militants and five civilians over a 24-hour period.

Separately, a government official says 13 militants and five troops died today in a clash at a fort.

Also, police say another 27 people have been killed and 35 wounded in a suicide blast outside a hospital crowded with Shiite Muslim mourners. The Pakistani Taliban is claiming responsibility.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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