Three drone strikes kills eighteen in northwest Pakistan

Three US drone strikes in Pakistan`s volatile northwest killed at least 18 suspected militants.

Updated: Oct 02, 2010, 20:52 PM IST

Peshawar: Three US drone strikes in
Pakistan`s volatile northwest killed at least 18 suspected
militants on Saturday amid escalating tensions between the two
countries over the killing of three Pakistani soldiers in a
NATO strike.

The drones carried out two back-to-back attacks at
Datta Khel in North Waziristan Agency, an area near the Afghan
border that has been repeatedly targeted by the drones since
last month.

In the first attack, two pilotless spy planes fired
three missiles at a militant hideout, killing nine suspected

Three more suspected militants were killed in the
second attack, which was carried out at the same site as
people gathered to pull the dead and injured out of the
militant compound.

The third drone strike targeted a vehicle in the same
area, killing six suspected militants.

The dead and wounded included foreign fighters but it
was not clear whether any high-profile militant was among
those killed.

US drones have carried out nearly two dozen attacks on
al Qaeda and Taliban elements in Waziristan since early
September, and media reports have said the sudden surge in
missile strikes was linked to the uncovering of a terror plot
to target key European cities.

Pakistani authorities have resisted pressure from the
US and its allies to launch a military campaign in North
Waziristan, which is a key base for the Haqqani network and
commanders Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Mulla Nazir.

Islamabad has halted the transportation of supplies to
US-led forces in Afghanistan after three Pakistani soldiers
were killed in a recent air strike by NATO helicopters.

Pakistan protested against the attack, describing it
as a violation of its sovereignty.