US drone strike kills four militants in Pakistan



Islamabad: At least four militants were killed when a US drone on Wednesday targeted a vehicle in the lawless North Waziristan region of Pakistan, in the latest in a string of attacks by the CIA-operated spy planes in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

The drone fired two missiles at the vehicle at a village located about 10 kilometres from Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, which is considered a hub of Taliban and al Qaeda elements.

There has been a significant increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since a NATO Summit in Chicago ended last month without a deal on ending Islamabad's six-month blockade of supply routes to Afghanistan.

There have been nine drone strikes since the summit. The supply lines were shut after a cross-border NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year. Islamabad: At least four militants were killed when a US drone on Wednesday targeted a vehicle in the lawless North Waziristan region of Pakistan, in the latest in a string of attacks by the CIA-operated spy planes in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

The drone fired two missiles at the vehicle at a village located about 10 kilometres from Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, which is considered a hub of Taliban and al Qaeda elements.

There has been a significant increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since a NATO Summit in Chicago ended last month without a deal on ending Islamabad's six-month blockade of supply routes to Afghanistan.

There have been nine drone strikes since the summit. The supply lines were shut after a cross-border NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November last year.

On June 4, a drone attack killed 15 militants in North Waziristan. The dead reportedly included senior al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi. Pakistan has strongly condemned the recent US drone strikes.

The Foreign Office summoned acting US ambassador Richard Hoagland on June 5 and lodged a protest over the drone strikes, saying the attacks were unlawful and a violation of the country's sovereignty.

Pakistan's parliament has declared the drone strikes "unacceptable" and they "represented a clear red-line for Pakistan", the Foreign Office said.

Most of the recent drone strikes were carried out in North Waziristan Agency, though a few attacks focussed on South Waziristan, where the Pakistan Army conducted an operation to flush out the Taliban three years ago.

PTI