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    5 killed in latest Waziristan drone strike

    ISLAMABAD (PAN): Five people were killed when a US drone fired several missiles into a compound in Pakistan’s troubled northwestern tribal region of North Waziristan near the Afghan border, sources said on Sunday.

    The pilotless aircraft targeted a house in Dara Neshtar area of Shawal sub-district, 150 kilometres west of Miranshah, the main town in the region, government official Mohammad Akbar told Pajhwok Afghan News.

    The house was completely destroyed in the attack, but it is unclear whether the dead were civilians or militants, he said.

    Local residents said several surveillance aircrafts hovered over the attack site for sometime after the missile strike, triggering great panic among the people.

    The Pakistani media quoting unknown security officials said eight insurgents loyal to militant commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur were killed in Sunday’s drone attack.

    Residents believe Bahadur have an informal working relationship with the Pakistani army, refraining from targeting the security forces while focusing on US and NATO troops in nearby Afghanistan.

    The officials said some foreign militants belonging to the Turkmenistan Islamic Movement believed killed, along with other local fighters from the Bahadur group. Militants from several central Asian countries have joined Afghans, Arabs, and others in Pakistan.

    “The strike destroyed the house and triggered fire,” an official said, adding it was difficult to identify the bodies immediately as some of them were charred.

    North Waziristan is one of several tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan that are hubs of militant activity. Bahadur controls most of North Waziristan.

    A similar attack in the region on Tuesday killed five militants.

    It was 22nd drone attack in north Wazristan since the start of the year, leaving more than 45 people dead.

    ma/vp



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