US drone strikes again, 6 killed in N Waziristan



Islamabad: US drones targeted a vehicle and a compound in North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan on Sunday, killing six suspected militants, officials said.

The CIA-operated spy planes fired six missiles at the house and the vehicle in Datta Khel area, which has witnessed numerous drone attacks over the past two years.

The missile strike occurred in an area located a few kilometres from Miranshah, the main town in the tribal district.

Two suspected militants were injured in the attack, officials told TV news channels.

The large number of missiles fired seemed to indicate an important militant was targeted.

The identities of those killed could not immediately be ascertained.

Residents of Miranshah said on phone that armed Taliban fighters arrived at the site and removed the bodies.

Drones had been flying over the area since morning. The strike was launched at 11.45 am.

Local residents said they had not approach the site because of fears of another missile strike.

This was the third drone attack in Waziristan in four days. At least 11 suspected militants, including a Taliban commander, were killed in strikes in South and North Waziristan on Thursday.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday said that no permission had been given to the US to launch drone attacks on targets inside Pakistan.

"There is no such permission," Gilani, who is in Australia for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, told a group of Pakistani expatriates.

Gilani said the drone attacks were counter-productive because they caused collateral damage and undermined his government's efforts to garner support against extremists and terrorists.

The drone attacks were one of the reasons why Pakistan-US relations had deteriorated in recent months, he said.

Hundreds of tribesmen from Waziristan staged a rally in Islamabad on Friday and sought an immediate halt to the drone strikes.

They said innocent people were killed in the strikes.

US officials have said the Datta Khel is an important base for Afghan and Pakistani Taliban commanders as well as Al Qaeda elements.

The US has pressured Pakistan to target militants in North Waziristan, saying they stage cross-border attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.

PTI