Home Muslim World News Five dead in suspected US missile strike in Pakistan: officials

Five dead in suspected US missile strike in Pakistan: officials


Peshawar, Pakistan : A suspected US missile strike on Thursday killed at least five alleged militants in a tribal area in northwest Pakistan known as a Taliban and Al-Qaeda stronghold, local officials said.

The strike was the latest targeting extremists in the lawless tribal areas bordering Afghanistan — all said to have been launched by unmanned CIA aircraft — that have raised tensions between Washington and Islamabad.

A local security official told AFP that a CIA drone had fired three missiles in the Karikot area of South Waziristan — the same spot where eight suspected militants were killed in a US drone strike 10 days ago.

One of the missiles struck a vehicle, killing five people inside, another security official said, adding those killed were known Taliban militants.

The other two missiles hit a hilltop house that was a known militant hideout in the area, but it was empty at the time of the strike, the officials said.

One militant was also wounded, they added.

“We rushed out of our homes,” resident Zar Wali told AFP, saying locals had been panicked by the powerful explosions.

Smoke was still billowing from the targeted house, he said.

Pakistan has repeatedly protested to the United States that the strikes violate its territorial sovereignty and deepen resentment among the 160 million people of the nuclear-armed Islamic nation.

President Asif Ali Zardari has promised zero tolerance for such violations, but some officials say there is a tacit understanding between the US and Pakistani militaries to allow such action.

The suspected US strikes have also continued despite a warning by Taliban militants based in tribal territory last month that any more would lead to reprisal attacks across Pakistan.

A US missile attack in November last year killed Rashid Rauf, the alleged Al-Qaeda mastermind of a 2006 transatlantic airplane bombing plot, as well as an Egyptian Al-Qaeda operative, security officials have said.

More than two dozen similar strikes have been carried out since August 2007, killing more than 200 people, most of them militants.