Peshawar: Carrying out two waves of
strikes in less than 12 hours on Pakistan's troubled
northwest, US drones fired a volley of hellfire missiles
targetting Taliban and al-Qaeda hideouts killing 15 militants,
including Arabs and Chechens, and wounding scores of others.
Shattering a brief lull in attacks, the Predator and
Reaper drones hovered over the North Waziristan region where
US intelligence suspect that large number of al Qaeda, Taliban
and Haqqani network militants are hiding.
Six missiles were fired in a pre-dawn attack on a
house in Maizer village, 45 kms from Miranshah, the main town
in north Waziristan killing the 15 militants, official sources
Six to seven militants of Arab, Uzbek and Chechen
origin were among 12 killed when the missiles struck a house
believed to be a militant hide-out.
Late last night, the drones carried out another strike
in the nearby Khaddi village, about 15 kms away from Maizar,
killing three foreign militants.
The fresh drone attacks came after a step up in UAV
strikes in May on North Waziristan in which al Qaeda number
three, Mustafa al-Yazid was killed. After these attacks, there
was a lull in drone strikes.
More than 900 militants have been reported killed in
100 drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008.
US is putting pressure on Pakistan to launch a
military offensive in the region, but the army has so far
resisted claiming it was overstretched and committed in other
parts of the volatile region close to the Afghan border.
But now, Pakistani leaders have hinted that security
forces are set to launch an operation in North Waziristan.
British daily 'The Guardian' quoting sources close to
Taliban recently reported that the elusive al Qaeda chief
Osama bin Laden may be hiding in deeply dug hideouts in North
The villages around Khaddi and Maizer hit by the
drones are known for the presence of the thousands of heavily
armed fighters of Taliban commanders Hafiz Gul Bahadur and
Mulla Sadiq Noor.
First Published: Friday, June 11, 2010, 13:55