US drone strike kills 12 in Waziristan


Islamabad : At least a dozen militants, including some foreigners, were killed and three others wounded in a US drone strike Sunday in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region that is a hub of the Taliban and Al Qaida, an official said.

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Two missiles were fired by a US drone at a house in Inzarkas village, 50 km west of Miranshah, the largest town in North Waziristan, Online news agency quoted a security official as telling a private TV channel.

The attack completely destroyed the house and tribals in the region said that a thick column of smoke could be seen rising from the area from far away.

A security official said the strike killed six militants and wounded nine others. Tribal sources said that six of the wounded succumbed to injuries while being shifted to a nearby hospital, taking the death toll to 12.

The killed included at least five foreign Al Qaida militants but their identities were not immediately known, the official said.

Tribal sources said that most of the killed were foreigners of Arab and Uzbek origin.

The US has significantly increased drone strikes in North Waziristan this year. More than 900 people have been killed in over 100 drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008.

The drone strikes by the US forces in neighbouring Afghanistan have become a sticky point in Pakistan-US ties. Islamabad says they should either cease or this country should be given the technologies to stage them.

The US has steadfastly refused to do either, saying the strikes are essential for its operations in Afghanistan as militants use Pakistani territory to stage hit-and-run raids across the border.