Sunday, June 3, 2012

US drone strikes kill five militants in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — US drone strikes targeting a militant compound in Pakistan's northwestern tribal area killed at least five insurgents on Sunday, security officials said, the second attack in 24 hours.

Two US drones fired four missiles at a house belonging to a militant commander in Wacha Dana town, 10 kilometres (six miles) west of Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal district near the Afghan border, Pakistani security officials said.

"At least five militants have died. The house has been badly destroyed," a security official told AFP, on condition of anonymity.

Two other security officials confirmed the strikes. One intelligence officer put the toll at six dead.

Sunday's attack in South Waziristan was the second in as many days and comes amid an upsurge in drone strikes in Pakistan since a NATO conference on Afghanistan in Chicago last month.

Washington considers Pakistan's semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt the main hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.
Pakistani-US relations went into freefall last year.

There were hit when a CIA contractor shot dead two Pakistanis and dented further by an American raid that killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and by US air strikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. Read More