26 Taliban killed in drone and army attacks in Pak

US drones fired missiles at militant targets in Pak`s NW killing six people as Army commandos backed by artillery and mortar fire pushed deeper.

Islamabad: US drones on Monday fired missiles
at militant targets in Pakistan`s restive northwest killing
six people as Army commandos backed by artillery and mortar
fire pushed deeper into the adjoining Bajaur slaying another
18 militants.

Predator drones fired three missiles on a moving
militant convoy in Machi Khel area of North Waziristan killing
six militants and injuring many others, local officials were
quoted as saying by TV.

Locals tribesmen said spy planes hovered over the
region in low flights before the attack. The Taliban militants
cordoned off the area immediately after the strike.

It was not immediately known if there were any high
value targets among the victims.

US drone attacks routinely target Taliban and al Qaeda
commanders in Pakistan`s lawless tribal regions along the
Afghanistan border.

More than 830 people have been killed in more than 90
US strikes in Pakistan since August 2008, with a surge in the
past year as President Barack Obama has put Pakistan at the
heart of his fight against al Qaeda.

The US has stepped up strikes in North Waziristan
after Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud appeared in a video
with Hammam Khalil Al-Balawi, the Jordanian suicide bomber who
killed seven CIA operatives in a forward base in Afghanistan’s
Khost province in December last year.

It is the second US drone strike in the same region
in eight days. On April 25 the drone strike at a house in Mir
Ali area of North Waziristan had killed five people.

Meanwhile, Pakistani army commandos under the cover of
heavy artillery fire attacked Taliban strongholds in nearby
Bajaur area also in the tribal belt killing 18 militants.

Officials said Army forces surrounded militants
hideouts in Ghundo village near Khar, the main town in Bajaur
and carrying out hit and run attacks.

Pakistan Army has deployed 10,000 troops and strong
elements of paramilitary frontier corps in operations in
Waziristan, Bajaur and Orakzai tribal belt bordering