US drone strike kills eight militants in Pakistan: Officials
Last Updated: Sunday, September 05, 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 05, 2010, 09:36


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