Fierce fighting has broken out as Pakistan's army launches an air and ground offensive against Taliban militants in the South Waziristan area.NYT:
Local officials said 30,000 troops, backed by artillery, had moved into the region where Pakistan Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud is based.
Officials said the Taliban were resisting as troops mobilised from the north, east, and west.
A curfew was imposed in the region before the offensive began.
There have been several co-ordinated Taliban attacks in recent days, killing more than 150 people in several Pakistan cities.
Local officials said there were dozens of casualties as both sides used heavy weapons.
Pakistan has fought three unsuccessful campaigns since 2001 in the region, which is the nerve-center for Pakistani insurgents fighting the U.S.-backed government. It is also a major base for foreign militants planning attacks on American and NATO forces in Afghanistan and on targets in the West.
After months of aerial bombing, troops Saturday moved into the region from several directions, heading to the insurgent bases of Ladha and Makeen among other targets, intelligence and military officials said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic or because they were not allowed to brief the media.
They said the operation was expected to last around two months.
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