Peshawar: A US drone strike at an insurgent
hideout killed at least nine militants and injured several
others in an area in Pakistan`s lawless North Waziristan
tribal region, considered a stronghold of the Haqqani network.
The drone fired two missiles at a compound and a vehicle
in Dargah Mandi area, several kilometres north of Miranshah,
the main town in North Waziristan Agency. The compound and the
car were destroyed.
The militants who were killed were believed to be local
Taliban, sources said. The injured were taken to a hospital in
The area where the drone attack occurred is located a
short distance from the border with Afghanistan and is
considered a stronghold of the Haqqani network, which targets
US-led forces in the neighbouring country.
The attack came hours after FBI chief Robert Mueller
arrived in Islamabad for talks on the war against terror.
It was not immediately known whether there were high
value targets in the area hit by the missiles.
Muhammad Haqqani, a son of senior Afghan Taliban
commander Jalaluddin Haqqani, was killed with three close
associates in another US drone strike in North Waziristan on
The US stepped up drone attacks in North Waziristan after
a suicide bomber killed seven CIA operatives at a forward base
in neighbouring Khost province of Afghanistan in December.
Local residents said the US has carried out at least 15
drone strikes in North Waziristan this year.
The US attacks come as Pakistani security agencies have
captured three top Taliban commanders in recent weeks,
including their number two Mulla Abdul Ghani Baradar.
As the US intensified its bombing attacks in the tribal
belt, Gen David Petraeus, chief of US Central Command has said
the recent capture of top Taliban militants has come through
because of "intelligence breakthroughs".