US drone strike in Pak kills six Taliban militants
Islamabad: Six members of a Taliban faction were killed in a US drone strike in the lawless North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday, an attack described by Pakistan government as a violation of its sovereignty.
Two more persons were injured when the drone targeted a compound and a vehicle in Shawal area of North Waziristan, which has witnessed numerous drone strikes in the past few months.
The CIA-operated spy plane fired two missiles at a compound and the vehicle.
Officials told the media that the drone targeted a militant hideout where supporters of Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur had gathered. Some Uzbek militants were among the dead.
Bahadur`s fighters frequently target US and foreign troops in neighbouring Afghanistan.
The Pakistan government strongly protested against drone attack.
"Pakistan has consistently maintained that these attacks are a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and are in contravention of international law," Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said in a brief statement.
The US has been pushing Pakistan to act against Taliban and al Qaeda elements in North Waziristan.
Earlier this week, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta claimed Pakistan was preparing an operation against the Taliban in North Waziristan.
Pakistan Army Chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has said his forces will undertake an operation in North Waziristan "at a timeframe of our choosing and determined only by our political and military requirements".
No operation will be launched due to "outside pressure", he said.
ISI chief Lt Gen Zahir-ul-Islam had raised Pakistan`s demand for ending drone attacks during a recent visit to the US.
The Taliban had recently banned polio vaccinations in North and South Waziristan, saying they would not be allowed as long as the US drone strikes continued.
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