US drone strike kills six in N.Waziristan

MIRANSHAH: A US drone missile attack Tuesday killed at least six suspected militants in the 11th such strike targeting Pakistan’s northwest Taliban stronghold this month, intelligence officials said.

The strike took place at 6:30pm (1330 GMT) in Degan village, 30 kilometres (18 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town of the tribal North Waziristan district and a known hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

“Two missiles fired by a US drone hit a compound which was being used by militants,” a senior security official in the area said. “One missile hit a compound and the other hit a vehicle outside it. Six militants were killed.” The death toll had initially been put at three.

Another security official confirmed the hit and casualties, saying that the nationalities of those killed was not yet known.

“It is also not clear if any high-value target was present in the area at the time of the attack,” he said, adding that the death toll may rise.

A volley of drone strikes has hit the northwest this month, all targeting North Waziristan, a bastion of Al-Qaeda fighters, the Taliban and the Haqqani network.

The drone strikes are a source of friction between the United States and its ally Pakistan, which says they are a violation of its sovereignty.

US officials say the missile strikes are carried out under an agreement with Islamabad that allows Pakistani leaders to decry the attacks in public, but Islamabad denies this. –Agencies

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