South Asia News
US drone attack kills six suspected militants in Pakistan
Mar 13, 2011, 15:20 GMT
Islamabad - At least six alleged militants were killed and five more injured in a US drone attack on Sunday in Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan, intelligence officials said.
The unmanned drone aircraft fired two missiles into a suspected centre of Taliban activity and two more into a vehicle in Spalga village, some 11 kilometers south-east of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district.
An intelligence official said that six people died and five were injured.
'The centre known as Tapi Markaz was run by a commander of TTP (Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan) whose name is Rahim Ullah,' said the official who spoke on condition of anonymity, adding that it was not clear if the commander was among the dead or injured.
The TTP is an umbrella organization of around a dozen Taliban and affiliated outfits.
According to the official, a second drone attack took place when people were gathered for the rescue work. 'The drone fired two more missiles into the crowd, but we don't know yet how many casualties were in this attack.'
US pilotless aircraft have repeatedly targeted suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda militants in North Waziristan, a major hub of Islamist insurgents.
Five alleged militants were killed in two drone strikes in the same district on Friday.
Pakistan has publicly criticized the attacks, but an army official Tuesday released statistics on the attacks, claiming that more than 964 Islamic militants had been killed in about 164 drone attacks from 2007 to 2011.
'Of those killed, 793 were local militants and 171 foreigners, including Arabs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens, Filipinos and Moroccans,' said Major General Ghyaur Mehmood, commander of the army's 7th Division in North Waziristan.
The claim is difficult to be verified, since the area is almost inaccessible for reporters and aid workers. Most of the information about drone attacks comes from intelligence officials, who prefer not to be named.
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