US drone kills five in Pakistan near Afghan border

A US drone killed five people in an attack on a compound in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region Monday, officials said.

At least four missiles were fired during the strike in the Kurram tribal district close to the Afghan border, according to officials.

One said the target was suspected militant Abu Bakar, commander of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network.

It is the second such strike since US President Donald Trump in August accused Pakistan of offering "safe havens" to extremists.

An attack in the same region in September left three people dead and two wounded.

"Five people have been killed in a drone strike on a suspected militant's house," an intelligence source told AFP.

A local administration official also confirmed the toll.

The use of US drones has dwindled dramatically in recent years in Pakistan, where the strikes have proven extremely controversial with the public and rights groups.

But the US is believed to have ordered at least two other drone attacks this year.

The first under Trump killed two men riding a motorbike in Kurram in March, while the second reportedly occurred in late April in North Waziristan, one of seven tribal districts stretching along the Afghan border.

In a major speech outlining US policy on Afghanistan in August, Trump lambasted Pakistan for sheltering "agents of chaos" and suggested ties with Islamabad would be adjusted immediately.

He offered few details.

Much of Washington's anger has been directed at the Haqqani network, based in the border areas between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which the Pentagon has long accused of having ties to Pakistan's military establishment.

Islamabad has repeatedly denied claims of being soft on militancy, accusing the US of ignoring the thousands who have been killed in Pakistan and the billions spent fighting extremists.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt