US missile strike kills 12 in NW Pakistan
Islamabad, June 19, 2010
A US drone aircraft fired two missiles in Pakistan's North Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Saturday, killing 12 militants, intelligence officials said.
The missile attack took place hours after the US special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, landed in Islamabad for talks as part of the Pakistan-US strategic dialogue initiated in March.
The drone targeted a suspected militant compound in Sokhel village, about 25 km (16 miles) east of Miranshah, the main town of the region and known as a hotbed of Taliban and al Qaeda militants, the intelligence officials said.
"Twelve militants have been killed and three wounded in the attack on a compound which is linked to Taliban and Al Qaeda," one intelligence official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
A second intelligence official confirmed the account. A resident, Mohammad Rafiq, told Reuters he had seen 11 bodies. The nationalities of the dead were not immediately available.
The United States has stepped up missile strikes in Pakistan's northwestern region since a Jordanian suicide bomber killed seven CIA employees at a US base across the border in Afghanistan's eastern Khost province in December.
Most of this year's attacks have been in North Waziristan. Al Qaeda's number three, Sheikh Sa'ad Al-Masri, also known as Mustafa Abul Al-Yazid, was believed to have been killed in a similar strike in North Waziristan last month. - Reuters