US drone attacks kill 14 suspected militants in Pak



US drone attacks kill 14 suspected militants in Pak Islamabad: At least 14 suspected terrorists were killed on Thursday by missiles fired from CIA-operated drones as the US stepped up its campaign against al-Qaeda and Taliban militants holed up in Pakistan's restive northwestern tribal areas.

The fresh attacks by unmanned US spy planes came a week after a drone strike killed Badar Mansoor, a top leader of al Qaeda in Pakistan who had earlier fought in Jammu and Kashmir.

US drones carried out two attacks in North Waziristan tribal region, killing 14 suspected militants in an area described by American officials as a safe haven for Taliban and al Qaeda insurgents.

In the first attack, a drone fired two missiles into a house in Spalgai area, 12 km from Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan Agency.

Six suspected militants were killed and seven others injured. The house was destroyed, local residents said. Another drone fired two missiles at a pick-up truck near Mir Ali town in the second attack.

Eight suspected militants were killed in this attack. The two attacks were carried out in a span of eight hours, local residents said.

They said members of the local Taliban faction were the target of the attacks.

On February 9, at least 10 suspected militants were killed when a US drone targeted the Spalga area. The area is dominated by the militant faction led by Commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, whose fighters target foreign forces across the border in Afghanistan.

The US resumed drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal belt in January after a two-month lull following a cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Including today's strikes, there have been eight drone attacks this year.

PTI