Maoists and villagers gunfight in Bihar

An encounter between the armed Maoist cadre and the members of village peace militia has been taking place in the forests between Dugha and Bandha villages in Bihar.

Updated: Sep 20, 2010, 00:51 AM IST

Bihar: An encounter between the armed Maoist cadre and the members of village peace
militia has been taking place in the forests between Dugha and Bandha villages in Bihar`s Kaimur district since this afternoon, a top police officer said.

About 150 armed Maoists surrounded the residents of Dugha and Bandha villages located on the hillocks and fired upon them even as the villagers, armed under the banner `Shanti Sena` returned the fire, Superintendent of Police (SP) P K Srivastava said.
Maoists and the villagers were still battling, he said, adding that no casualty has been reported so far from either side. The district police authorities heard about the encounter later in the day and no police enforcement has been sent to assist the villagers, Srivastava said.

Meanwhile, the expelled BSP MLA Ram Chandra Singh Yadav claimed that 26 villagers have been surrounded by the Maoists.

PTI

Miranshah: A US drone fired two
missiles at a vehicle travelling in Pakistan`s lawless
northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border, killing four
militants.

Officials in Washington say the drone strikes have
killed a number of high-value targets including Pakistani
Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and help protect foreign troops
in Afghanistan from attacks plotted across the border.

"It was a US drone attack. Four militants were killed.
The vehicle was hit by two missiles," a security official
based in Miranshah -- the main town in North Waziristan tribal
district -- told AFP.

The strike hit in Dehgan, a village in the Datta Khel
area, 20 kilometres west of Miranshah.

A security official in Peshawar confirmed the attack
and toll, while a second intelligence official in Miranshah
also confirmed the strike and casualties.

The Miranshah intelligence official told AFP that
those killed in the strike were attached to the Haqqani
network.

The network is based in North Waziristan, is linked to
al Qaeda and the Taliban and has become a particularly prickly
thorn in the side of US-led forces trying to bring security to
eastern Afghanistan.

A fresh surge in US missile strikes has killed about
100 militants since early September in the northwestern tribal
belt, which Washington has branded a global headquarters of
al Qaeda and the most dangerous spot on Earth.

Under US pressure to crack down on Islamist havens
along the Afghan border, Pakistan has in the past year stepped
up military operations against largely homegrown militants in
the area.

Over 1,100 people have been killed in more than 130
drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008, including a
number of senior militants. However, the attacks fuel
anti-American sentiment in the country.

PTI