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Pakistan Taliban: 'We are prepared for a long war'

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - A Taliban spokesman has denied Pakistan's claims of battlefield victories in an offensive in tribal South Waziristan, saying the militants are drawing government soldiers into a trap.

Azam Tariq says the militants are purposefully withdrawing from some areas to bring government soldiers further into Taliban territory.

He said in a telephone call Tuesday with The Associated Press that "We are prepared for a long war."

Tariq also denied army claims that dozens of militants have been killed, saying only 11 have died so far.

In mid-October, the Pakistani government launched an offensive in the South Waziristan tribal region, viewed as the main stronghold in the country of both the Taliban and al-Qaida. The offensive has drawn retaliatory militant attacks across Pakistan.

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