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World Briefing / PAKISTAN

Candidate moves to secured house

August 30, 2008|From Times Wire Services

Pakistan's presidential front-runner has moved into a tightly guarded government compound over security fears, officials said as a militant campaign against the government led to more violence in the country's volatile northwest.

Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani told reporters that Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, was staying at a hilltop mansion in Islamabad's government quarters. Zardari is widely expected to win a Sept. 6 presidential election by lawmakers.

His party has sought to assure the U.S. since Pervez Musharraf's ouster as president that it is committed to battling terrorists.

The country has been hit by a string of suicide bombings this month, including one last week that left 67 dead, many of them civilians.

Army spokesman Maj. Nasir Ali said today that at least 30 Taliban fighters were killed Friday when the military, backed by fighter jets, destroyed some of the militant hide-outs in the Swat Valley, a once-popular tourist destination.

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