Death Toll Rises in Pakistan Fighting

Intelligence reports and accounts from arrested fighters indicate that more than 100 people have died in fighting between Pakistani security forces and pro-Taliban militants in northwestern Pakistan, officials said Monday.

Authorities declared a curfew in a remote northwestern town after three days of fighting.

Clashes continued Monday in the North Waziristan tribal region, and thousands of residents joined an exodus out of the main town of Miran Shah.

Sikandar Qayyum, additional secretary for security for Pakistan's tribal areas, told reporters in the northwestern city of Peshawar that based on intelligence reports and questioning of some injured and arrested militants, authorities believed more than 100 militants had been killed.

That account was confirmed by army spokesman Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan. He said he the dead included five security forces. "Now we find out that the casualties might have exceeded 100," he said.

Earlier Monday he said that only 53 people in all were confirmed killed. He said it was difficult to give an exact count because some compounds in Miran Shah were not yet in the control of security forces.

Qayyum said the curfew would be round-the-clock except for three hours in the afternoon to enable residents to buy provisions and would last as long as "the security situation requires."