US drone strike kills eight militants in Pakistan: Officials

Last Updated: Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 09:36

Miranshah: A US drone strike
today killed eight militants including three foreign fighters
in Pakistan`s northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border,
security officials said.

The strike targeted a militant compound in Datta Khel
village in North Waziristan district, a known hub for Taliban
and al Qaeda linked militants.

"A US drone fired missiles on a house used by
militants as a compound. Eight militants have been killed in
the attack and 12 others were wounded," a security official in
Peshawar told a news agency by telephone.

Two intelligence officials in Miranshah, the main town
in North Waziristan district, also confirmed the attack and
the toll. One of them said that a double-cabin pickup truck
was also destroyed by a missile fired from a drone.

"Five local and three foreign militants were killed
and 12 others were wounded," the local intelligence official
said. Pakistani officials refer to al Qaeda-linked Arab and
Central Asian fighters as foreigners.

Datta Khel, some 30 kilometers west of Miranshah, has
frequently been the target of drone attacks, including one
late Friday which killed four foreign militants when it
targeted a car, according to security officials.

An earlier strike yesterday killed six militants when
it hit a compound on the outskirts of Miranshah. Four
militants were reported killed in another strike in North
Waziristan on August 28, after a strike on August 24 killed 12
people.

The area is also famous as the stronghold of the
al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, which has staged attacks on
US and NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan.

US forces have been waging a drone war against Taliban
and al Qaeda-linked commanders in Pakistan`s northwestern
tribal belt, where militants have carved out havens in
mountains outside direct government control.

Washington has branded the rugged tribal area on the
Afghan border -- part of which was been hit by Pakistan`s
catastrophic flooding -- a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and
the most dangerous place on Earth.

The US military does not as a rule confirm drone
attacks, but its armed forces and the Central Intelligence
Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that
deploy pilotless drones in the region.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in 120 drone
strikes in Pakistan since August 2008, including a number of
senior militants. However, the attacks fuel anti-American
sentiment in the conservative Muslim country.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 09:36

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