Tuesday, March 13, 2012

U.S. drone strikes kill 15 in northwest Pakistan

(Reuters) - U.S. drone aircraft struck twice in Pakistan's unruly tribal regions along the border with Afghanistan on Tuesday, killing 15 suspected militants, including two senior militant commanders, security and intelligence officials said.

In the first strike, a drone fired missiles at a vehicle in the Birmal area of the South Waziristan tribal region, killing eight.

Among the dead were Shams Ullah and Amir Hamza, senior commanders of a pro-government militant faction led by Maulvi Nazir, one of the most influential militant leaders in the region.

Seven suspected militants were killed in the second attack later in the day, when a drone fired missiles at a vehicle in the Sara Khawra area, which straddles the border between North Waziristan and South Waziristan.

Several militant groups, including the Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda, operate in Pakistan's semi-autonomous border regions, taking advantage of a porous border with Afghanistan to conduct cross-border attacks or plot violence elsewhere. Read More