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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Suspected US Missile Strike Kills 5 Militants in Pakistan

By VOA News
29 September 2009

Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected U.S. missile strike has killed five Taliban militants in one of the country's restive tribal regions.

Officials say two missiles apparently fired from an unmanned aircraft hit the house of Taliban commander Irfan Mehsud Tuesday near the Afghan border in South Waziristan.

They say at least six militants were wounded in the strike, which demolished the house located some 60 kilometers north of Wana. At least two of the dead militants appear to be Uzbek nationals.

The area surrounding Wana is a stronghold for the network of former Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a U.S. missile strike last month.

Officials blame Mehsud's militant network for attacks against Pakistan's government and foreign troops in the country.

U.S. unmanned aircraft, known as drones, are believed to have fired more than 40 missiles in recent months at suspected al-Qaida and Taliban militants in the region.

The former security chief of Pakistan's tribal regions, Mahmood Shah, has told VOA that such strikes undermine Pakistan's government regardless of any success.

He said the U.S. needs to transfer its drone technology to Pakistan if it wants to truly help his country put an end to militant violence.

The military began a major offensive in and around Swat Valley five months ago, and officials say they expect Pakistani forces to strike in South Waziristan soon.

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

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