Suspected US missile strike kills 12 militants in Pakistan
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Islamabad, April 1, IRNA - A suspected US missile strike in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern tribal region killed at least 12 Taliban-linked militants on Wednesday, a security official and local media said.
The attack took place in Orakzai tribal region, raising fears that the US has expanded drone strikes to other areas from the restive Waziristan tribal area.
Security officials confirmed the strike at remote Khadezai area of Orakzai agency but did not say anything on casualty figures.
Sources said the missile struck a militants’ hideout in the area, who are thought to be arrived there from the Waziristan region.
Sources said that some Afghan militants were among those killed in the attack.
Reports quoted locals as saying that they saw drone aircraft flying in the area before the strike. They said the local Taliban militants sealed off the area following the attack and the bodies were being moved to an undisclosed location.
US forces have stepped up drone attacks inside Pakistan and recently American media reported that the US is considering expanding the attacks to southwestern Balochistan province.
US media reported that Afghan Taliban militants have taken shelter in Balochistan and are planning attacks in southern Afghanistan from the Pakistani region.
Officials say that US drones have carried out at least 10 strikes since January 20th, since President Barack Obama assumed office.
The CIA new chief, who visited Pakistan late last month, said in February drone attacks will continue despite Pakistan’s protest.
US claims that the drone attacks have killed dozens of suspected al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, including several key figures, but Pakistan insists that the strikes kill mostly civilians.
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