NORTH WAZIRISTAN - At least four suspected militants were killed in a US drone attack in North Waziristan Agency on Sunday morning.
According to details, a US unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at a house suspected of being a militant hideout in the Dargah Mandi area of Miranshah, headquarters of the agency, at around 10:50am. Sources said the targeted house was destroyed completely. As a result, four suspected militants were killed and two others sustained injuries. They said the identities of the killed were not ascertained. They added two US drones hovered in the sky for some time after the attack.
Sunday’s US drone strike in North Waziristan is the 21st of its kind in Pakistan in 2013. At least 117 people have So far been killed in such strikes since the start of the year. The strike was carried out when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is in the United States where he will take up the drone issue with the US administration. The prime minister raised the drone issue in his address to the UN General Assembly on September 27.
The US drone programme is a source of extreme tension between the two countries. Washington says it needs to carry out drone attacks against dangerous militants because the Pakistani government refuses to engage them militarily. Pakistan calls the drone strikes a violation of its sovereignty.
AFP adds: “A US drone fired two missiles on a militant compound, killing three rebels,” a senior security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Another local official confirmed the attack and casualties. However, an intelligence official in Miranshah put the toll at four.
The area targeted by the drone is said to be the stronghold of Afghanistan’s Haqqani network, a guerrilla faction linked to the Taliban.
US drone attacks are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, but Washington sees them as a vital tool in the fight against militants in the lawless tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.
The Pakistani government has repeatedly protested against drone strikes as a violation of its sovereignty.