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US drone strike kills five militants in Pakistan

(AFP)
Filed on February 16, 2012

MIRANSHAH A US drone strike targeting a militant compound killed five insurgents in a northwest Pakistan tribal region near the Afghan border Thursday, security officials said.

“Two missiles were fired by a US drone on a compound used by militants in Spalga town near Miranshah and five militants have been killed,” a security official said.

The attack was confirmed by two other security officials in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan region, known as a stronghold of Taliban and Al-Qaeda linked militants.

Security officials said several other militants were wounded but the exact number was not immediately known.

The latest attack came a week after US missiles killed Badar Mansoor, the most senior Pakistani in Al Qaeda, one of America’s main targets in the country and wanted for attacks that killed scores of people.

Pakistani officials and a member of his groupsaid that Mansoor who reputedly sent fighters to Afghanistan and ran a training camp in North Waziristan, was killed in a drone strike near the Afghan border.

US officials say Pakistan’s tribal belt provides sanctuary to Taliban fighting in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda groups plotting attacks on the West, Pakistani Taliban who routinely bomb Pakistan and other foreign fighters.

But the missile attacks fuel widespread anti-American resentment, which is running especially high in Pakistan since US air strikes inadvertently killed 24 Pakistani soldiers in November.

President Barack Obama last month confirmed for the first time that US drones have targeted Taliban and AlQaeda militants on Pakistani soil, a programme that has escalated under his administration.


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