Deaths in Pakistan ‘drone’ attack

Missiles fired by suspected US drones have killed at least 17 people and wounded many more in Pakistan, residents and security officials say.

Officials said the missiles rained down on Dattakhel village in the Degan area of North Waziristan, part of Pakistan’s semi-autonomous tribal region near the Afghan border, on Tuesday.

They said the missiles struck suspected fighters’ hideouts and a training centre.

Al Jazeera’s Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, said there were reports that up to 19 missiles had been fired.

“This would be the first time you get a co-ordinated attack by such a large group of drones since the attacks against targets inside Pakistan began.

“Seventeen people have been reported killed. However, there is mounting fear that the death toll could be at least over two dozen or even cross 30.”

Locals were digging dead and wounded out of the debris.

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At least nine people were killed in a suspected US drone attack in the same area on Friday.

Missiles hit a compound allegedly used by Taliban fighters in Muhammad Khel, a town in North Waziristan.

The identities of those killed in the attack were not immediately known.

A series of drone raids have been carried out this month in North Waziristan, home to fighters loyal to the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Haqqani network.

The US never confirms drone attacks, but its forces in neighbouring Afghanistan and the Central Intelligence Agency are the only ones known to use the unmanned aircraft capable of firing missiles.

The attacks have often resulted in civilian deaths, stirring anger among Pakistanis and even bolstering support for the Taliban and anti-US sentiment.


spotted by RS

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