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130 die as militants, army clash in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Four days of fierce fighting in northwestern Pakistan left 30 soldiers and nearly 100 militants dead as the army attempted to wrestle control of a remote, mountainous valley from the Taliban and their allies, military officials said Monday.

The army launched its offensive in the Tirah Valley on Friday after weeks of fighting between rival militant groups forced tens of thousands of civilians to flee the area. The valley is in Khyber, part of the semiautonomous tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

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The army has launched scores of operations against the Pakistani Taliban in the tribal region in recent years, but certain areas such as Tirah have remained outside their control. The Taliban have remained a serious threat and continue to launch attacks across the northwest and other parts of the country with frightening regularity.

Also Monday, Pakistan’s top court ordered Pervez Musharraf, the former president and military ruler, to respond to allegations that he committed treason while in power and barred him from leaving the country only weeks after he returned.

The Supreme Court acted in response to private petitions alleging that Musharraf committed various treasonable offenses while in office, including toppling an elected government, suspending the constitution, and sacking senior judges, including the chief justice.

If convicted of treason, Musharraf could be sentenced to death. A hearing is set for Tuesday. He can appear in person, or send a lawyer.

‘‘People want justice, rule of law, and implementation of the constitution,’’ one of the petitioners, lawyer Chaudhry Akram, told two Supreme Court judges overseeing Monday’s hearing.

The Pakistani Taliban have been waging a bloody insurgency against the government because of its alliance with the United States in fighting Islamic militants, and to establish Islamic law in the country. The group is allied with the Afghan Taliban but has focused its attacks inside Pakistan.

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