Three drone attacks in NW; 25 dead
MIRAMSHAH: US drones hit three vehicles in North Waziristan on Monday, killing 25 suspected militants and injuring four others.
According to official sources, two pickup trucks destroyed in an attack at around 10am were carrying arms and ammunition, apparently to Afghanistan.
They said six missiles were fired at the vehicles in Shera Tala village on a dirt track between Mirali and Thall after they left a compound.
At least 21 militants were killed and four injured. Officials said those killed in the attack in Mirali tehsil belonged to the tribal area.
Masked men secured the place and took away the bodies and injured people. The area is considered to be a stronghold of militants.
Hours later, a drone fired two missiles on a vehicle in Machikhel area, killing four people, the sources said.
The identities of the dead were not immediately known, but officials believed that most were Pakistani, rather than Afghan or Arab fighters.
Agencies add: At least 110 such missile strikes have been launched this year — more than double last year’s total. Nearly all have landed in North Waziristan.
The government says the attacks violate Pakistan’s sovereignty and anger tribesmen whose support it needs to fend off extremists, but is widely believed to secretly support the strikes and provide intelligence for at least some of them.
Washington says wiping-out the militant threat in Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal belt is vital to winning the nine-year war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and defeating Al Qaeda.
The United States does not confirm drone attacks, but its military and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy the aircraft in the region.