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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US drones kill 18 in Pakistan tribal region

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, June 6 ,IRNA -- US pilotless aircraft Monday rained missiles into Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal region and killed nearly 18 suspected militants, security officials in the region said.

Officials said that several foreign militants were among those killed in different areas of South Waziristan.

An official said that two spy aircraft targeted two different places in Bermal area, some 25 kilometers west of Wana, the center of South Waziristan early Monday.

He said the first strike took place at 3 a.m., local time when the drone hit a three-room building near a religious school, killing 10 people. Two others were injured. All those killed and injured were Taliban from eastern Punjab province. They are known as Punjabi Taliban, the most dangerous group of Taliban. They are behind major attacks on Pakistani security forces and defence installations.

The second attack was carried out at Shahlam area when the US drone hit a house. Five militants from Turkmenistan were killed in the strike, according to a security official. It was not clear if any high value target was among the slain men.

The tribesmen, who buried the bodies in a local graveyard, said there was no local militant among the dead.

Officials said the third strike was conducted at Bermal area in which missiles struck a vehicle. Two missiles were fired on the vehicle killing three persons. The vehicle was completely destroyed in the strike.

It is second strike in South Waziristan in four days.

On Friday night, the U.S. drone strike killed a top militant leader Ilyas Kashmiri along with 8 other militants. Kashmiri was wanted to the US and Pakistan. He was behind the last month brazen attack on navy air station in Karachi, which killed 10 Pakistan navy personnel.

According to estimate, the Monday strike is the 34th in Pakistan this year. Nearly 250 people, most of whom are suspected militants, have been killed in these strikes.

The US has stepped up strikes in Waziristan tribal region after the US and Pakistan formed a joint intelligence mechanism in the wake of the visit to Islamabad by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton late last month.

Hillary had asked Pakistan to take urgent and decisive steps against the militants in the coming days.

Pakistani parliament passed a resolution last month, demanding the US halt drone strikes. The resolution said that Pakistan would block supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan via Pakistan if drone strikes were not stopped. But there had been no reaction by the government to the drone strikes over the past few days.



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