US drone in northwest Pakistan kills 6 militants

AP News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2014 10:09 AM
US drone in northwest Pakistan kills 6 militants

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A suspected U.S. drone strike on a sprawling Taliban hideout in a northwestern tribal region bordering Afghanistan killed six militants on Tuesday, two intelligence officials said.

The officials said some suspects were also wounded when four missiles struck the compound in the town of Datta Khel in the North Waziristan tribal region. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The officials provided no further details and only said some foreigners were included among the dead.

North Waziristan was considered to be a strong base for local and foreign militants until June 15 when Pakistan's army launched a major operation there to eliminate those accused of orchestrating acts of terrorism in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan.

The Pakistani army says it has cleared the militants from more than 80 percent of the region.

U.S. drone strikes are widely unpopular in Pakistan and are seen as a violation of national sovereignty. The U.S. authorities have long used them to target militants in areas inaccessible to Pakistan's army. The latest drone strike came hours after two bombings and a militant attack on a checkpoint in Pakistan killed six people.

In the first attack, militants struck a security checkpoint in the northwestern Orakzai tribal region, killing three paramilitary soldiers, government official Naeem Khan said. He said other soldiers at the checkpoint chased and killed several militants.

Also Tuesday, a roadside bomb In the town of Salarzai in the northwestern Bajur tribal area killed two police officers who were preparing to supervise a polio vaccine campaign that begins Wednesday, government administrator Sohail Khan said. Militants oppose the campaign, alleging that western governments would use it to spy on insurgents after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Another bomb planted along a road in southwestern Quetta city exploded when a local court judge passed by, killing a boy and wounding 25, police officer Abdur Razzaq Cheema said.

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Associated Press writers Abdul Sattar in Quetta, Pakistan, and Riaz Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan and Anwarullah Khan in Khar, Pakistan, contributed to this report.