Suspected US Missile Strike Kills at Least 5 in Pakistan
By VOA News
17 July 2009
Pakistani intelligence officials and witnesses say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed at least five suspected militants in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region.
Officials say a missile fired from a drone (pilotless aircraft) Friday hit a home in North Waziristan, roughly 30 kilometers from the main town of Miranshah.
The United States is suspected of carrying out dozens of drone air strikes targeting militants in the region over the past year. Most of the recent attacks have hit targets in the stronghold of Pakistani Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud in the neighboring South Waziristan tribal region.
In another development, the United Nations refugee agency says it has temporarily relocated a number of its aid workers from northwestern Pakistan, after gunmen killed a staff member Zill-e Usman on Thursday in the Katcha Gari camp.
Humanitarian workers have been providing aid to the nearly two million people displaced by Pakistan's military offensive against militants in the northwest. Pakistani officials said Friday at least 10,000 of those displaced by the fighting have returned to their homes in Swat Valley in recent days.
The military said Friday two soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in the region.
Militants have carried out attacks in retaliation for the military offensive. Friday, two tankers were damaged by two separate bombs in the Khyber tribal region. The tankers were carrying fuel for NATO troops in Afghanistan.
In other news, the head of the U.N. commission Heraldo Munoz investigating the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto said the probe was limited to fact-finding and was not a criminal investigation.
The commission was set up at the request of Ms. Bhutto's party. The former prime minister was killed in an attack during an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi in December of 2007. Then-president Pervez Musharraf and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency blamed Baitullah Mehsud for her killing.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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