Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pakistan: Eleven killed in North Waziristan drone attack ~ a stronghold of Arab militants

MIRAMSHAH: A salvo of missiles fired by US drones killed 11 militants in Pakistan's tribal badlands on Tuesday, the 10th strike targeting the lawless Afghan border area in 11 days, officials said.

The Pakistani officials said four missiles hit a militant compound in Bushnarai village in Shawal district of North Waziristan, where Al-Qaeda-linked and Taliban fighters have carved out strongholds beyond government control.

A fresh surge in US missile strikes has killed more than 60 militants since September 3 in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt.

“Eleven militants were killed in today's drone attack,” a senior Pakistani security official in the area told AFP on condition of anonymity, updating an initial death toll of seven.

He described the area as a stronghold of Arab militants and said there were reports that foreigners - a byword for Al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan - were among the dead but said the nationalities of the dead were not yet confirmed.

Another security official confirmed that the remains of 11 people had been pulled out of the wreckage of the compound.

“US drones are still carrying out low-level flights in different areas of North Waziristan, including Shawal where the strike took place this morning,”the second security official told AFP.

Shawal district is more than 300 kilometres (190 miles) from Pakistan's capital Islamabad, headquarters of the country's civilian government.

The area is a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur and is also populated by Arab fighters. – AFP

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