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Pakistani army disputes reports of collusion

Pakistan's army on Friday disputed reports that its security forces had tipped off insurgents at bomb-making factories after Pakistan received intelligence about the sites from the United States.

The Foreign Ministry also lodged a protest with the American embassy over a purported attack on a Pakistani military post from neighboring Afghanistan -- the latest signs of strained relations since the U.S. killed Osama bin Laden last month in a city near Islamabad without notifying Pakistani officials ahead of time.

The army called the assertions of collusion with militants "totally false and malicious."

American officials told the Associated Press in early June that they had shared satellite information with Pakistan about two militant bomb-making factories in the country. Within 24 hours, they said they watched the militants clear out the sites, raising suspicions that the Pakistanis had shared the information.

In a carefully worded, two-paragraph statement Friday, the army never says the U.S. shared intelligence on the sites in question. But it said its attempts to destroy four militant bomb-making factories only partly succeeded because intelligence on two of the sites was wrong.

The statement also was unclear about the sites' location and did not say when the raids occurred.

But it's likely to further add to tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan, which have been unusually high since the May 2 U.S. raid that killed bin Laden.

Meanwhile, Pakistani security forces backed by artillery killed 12 Islamist militants in a tribal region in the northwest where insurgents have been mounting cross-border attacks from Afghanistan, a government administrator said.

The attacks have upset Pakistan, which says they are happening because U.S. and NATO forces are not doing enough to protect the territory on the Afghan side. Western forces have had the same complaints about Pakistan's activities on its side of the border.

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