PESHAWAR – A US drone strike targeting a compound on Saturday killed at least six suspected militants in North Waziristan’s Datta Khel tehsil bordering Afghanistan.
The unmanned aircraft fired at least four missiles at the compound situated at Degan village in Mohammad Khel area of tehsil Datta Khel. The drone hit the compound at about 9:25 am reportedly used my militants.
Resultantly, at least six militants were killed and three others got injuries while the targeted house was destroyed completely.
An official said several drones were flying in the area at the time of the attack.
They, while confirming the casualties, said it was yet to be ascertained whether they were local militants or foreigners. North Waziristan Agency is a stronghold of Hafiz Gul Bahadur group.
Islamabad has time and again asked Washington to stop drone strikes on Fata as it fuels people sentiments against the US in Pakistan, but to no avail so far.
Agencies add: Another security official said the area had been the target of US drone strikes in the past, which killed several foreign militants.
He said militants from the Afghan Taliban allied with Haqqani network also operate in Degan.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network, blamed for some of the deadliest attacks in Afghanistan, is one of the thorniest issues between Islamabad and Washington.
Washington has long demanded that Pakistan take action against the Haqqanis, whom the United States accused of attacking the US embassy in Kabul last September and acting like the ‘veritable arm’ of ISI.
Pakistan has in turn demanded that Afghan and US forces do more to stop Pakistani Taliban crossing the border from Afghanistan to launch attacks on its forces.
There has been a dramatic increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since May, when a Nato summit in Chicago failed to strike a deal to end a six-month blockade on convoys transporting supplies to coalition forces in Afghanistan.
Islamabad and Washington have been seeking to patch up their fractious relationship in recent months, with the supply route reopening, after a series of crises in 2011 saw ties between the “war on terror” allies plunge.
But attacks by unmanned US aircraft remain contentious - they are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, which says they violate its sovereignty and fan anti-US sentiment, but American officials are said to believe they are too important to give up.
Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt as the main hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.
US drone kills six in NWA