jor salvo of US missiles on Wednesday destroyed a Pakistani Taliban base on the Afghan border, killing up to 18 suspected militants including possible Al-Qaeda fighters, local officials said.
Five US drones fired up to 10 missiles into a sprawling compound in the Baber Ghar area of South Waziristan, killing 15 to 18 fighters in the deadliest such American strike in three months, the Pakistani officials said.
Five US drones carried out Wednesday's attack, one of the officials told AFP in the deadliest such coordinated strike in northwest Pakistan since a similar strike killed 21 fighters in the Afghan Taliban Haqqani faction on August 10.
"The target was a base of Pakistan Taliban. We have reports that 16 to 18 militants were killed," the official told AFP in Peshawar. Another official in Peshawar put the death toll at 15.
An official in Wana confirmed that a base of Pakistan's umbrella Taliban faction, Tehreek-e-Taliban, was destroyed and said there were reports that "some foreigners" were also killed.
"It was Taliban base. They were using this place as a training camp, to keep weapons and to take shelter," the Wana official said. "The drones came almost at the same time," he added.
Wednesday's strike was the 63rd so far this year, according to an AFP tally.
Elsewhere in the tribal belt on Wednesday, an army officer and a soldier were killed in separate Taliban attacks on convoys in the troubled district of Kurram and in Ladha town in South Waziristan, security officials told AFP. Both officials requested anonymity as they were not authorised to talk to the media. "Several militants were also killed in retaliatory fire," one official said of the Kurram attack.
On Tuesday, hundreds of people in Peshawar launched a protest against a Tuesday morning's U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan, which killed seven people.