South Asia News
US drone attack kills 24 in Pakistan
Jun 8, 2011, 11:21 GMT
Islamabad - At least 24 people were killed Wednesday in a suspected US airstrike in north-western Pakistan, security officials said.
A pilotless aircraft targeted a compound and a car in Shawal, 55 kilometres south-west of Miran Shah, a town in the tribal district of North Waziristan near the Afghan border.
An intelligence official said on condition of anonymity that the five missiles fired at the two targets had killed alleged militants.
'So far 24 people have been killed in the attack,' he said. 'We cannot say anything at this point about the identities of those killed in the attack.'
Another official said five drones were still flying over the area, creating fear of more strikes among residents.
He said the area hit by the drone was controlled by militant commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a pro-government Islamist, who has a peace deal with the authorities.
North Waziristan is controlled by the Haqqani network, which is closely associated with al-Qaeda and reportedly helps to launch cross-border raids on NATO troops in Afghanistan.
The US has stepped up drone attacks in the tribal areas this year. At least 21 people were killed in three strikes in South Waziristan district on Monday.
Pakistan's government publicly criticizes the strikes because they increase anti-US sentiment, but its security agencies are believed to help identify the targets.
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