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'Drone Missiles' Kill 5 in Pakistan

VOA News 19 January 2010

Pakistani intelligence officials say missiles fired by a suspected U.S. drone (pilotless aircraft) killed at least five militants Tuesday in the country's northwest tribal region.

The officials say the drone fired two missiles at a compound and a vehicle in a village about 30 kilometers west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, and just south of the Afghan border.

There have been at least 11 suspected attacks by U.S. pilotless aircraft in the region this year.

Many of the recent drone strikes have targeted North Waziristan. The area is considered a stronghold for Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants, including a group known as the Haqqani network.

Some U.S. officials believe the Haqqani network is responsible for last month's attack on a U.S. base in Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Pakistani officials said a drone attack on a suspected militant hideout in South Waziristan killed at least 20 militants. They said four missiles slammed into the house in the Shaktoi area, the same area where a drone strike Thursday targeted Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

Pakistani intelligence sources had said Mehsud was wounded in the attack, which killed at least 12 suspected militants. The Taliban released an audio recording Saturday in which Mehsud said he was well and had survived the attack on Thursday.

Pakistan publicly condemns the drone attacks as a violation of its sovereignty.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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