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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

U.S. drone kills 4 in Pakistan tribal region

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad,Sept 27,IRNA -- At least four suspected militants were killed Monday when a U.S. drone fired missiles into a village in North Waziristan tribal agency, locals said.

It was third U.S. strike in three days in North Waziristan and 19th attack in 24 days, according to available date on strikes.

Missiles struck a house at village Khushali Toorikhel in the southeast of Miranshah, the center of North Waziristan, the strong hideout of Pakistani, Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda remnants.

At least 11 militants were killed in attacks on Saturday and Sunday.

It was not known as to which group’s members were hit, but locals said that local and foreign militants were staying in the compound.

U.S. drones regularly strike what it calls hideouts of the al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in the region.

Waziristan is the home of Taliban leaders Hakimullah Mehsood, Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Mulla Nazir, who are fighting against US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The Haqqani network, led by Sirajuddin Haqqani, the son of former Taliban commander Jalauddin Haqqani, is also active in North Waziristan.

Since a suicide attack killed seven CIA employees in Afghanistan in December, covert US drone attacks have tremendously increased in the volatile Waziristan tribal region.

A number of high-profile militant leaders, including Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud were killed in the drone attack in August last year.

A suspected US drone strike in Miranshah in February killed Mohammed Haqqani, a cousin of Sirajuddin Haqqani.

Pakistan's military launched an offensive against Taliban in South Waziristan last October and claims to have made big gains against Taliban and al-Qaeda strongholds.

Pakistan publicly criticizes drone attacks, saying they violate its sovereignty and fuel more anti-Americanism among the people, but observers widely believe that Pakistan shares intelligence with the US on drone strikes.

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