US drones kill three militants in NW Pakistan

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan - A US drone strike on Tuesday killed at least three militants in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border, security officials said.

By (AFP)

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Published: Tue 21 Aug 2012, 9:52 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 9:52 AM

Two US drones fired four missiles on a vehicle in Shnakhura village, 10 kilometers from Miranshah, the main town in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region, considered a bastion of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants.

“We have received confirmed reports that three militants have been killed in the drone strike on a vehicle. However, the identities of the militants are not yet clear,” a senior security official told AFP in Peshawar.

Another official in Miranshah said a compound near the vehicle was damaged in the strike.

“A missile also hit a nearby compound which was badly damaged and engulfed in flames,” he said.

Separate but unconfirmed reports suggested the number of killed militants may be more than three.

“We suspect that the dead militants could be up to six. There are also reports that two were injured,” a security official in Miranshah told AFP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

Attacks by unmanned American aircraft are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, which says they violate its sovereignty, and fan anti-US sentiment, but US officials are said to believe the attacks are too important to give up.

Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt the main hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

There has been a dramatic increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since May, when a NATO summit in Chicago could not strike a deal to end a six-month blockade on convoys transporting supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan.

On July 3 however Islamabad agreed to end the blockade after the United States apologised for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in botched air strikes last November.



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