Thursday, January 1, 2009
A suspected US missile strike on Thursday killed at least five Taliban militants in a tribal area in northwest Pakistan known as a extremist stronghold, local officials said.
The strike was the latest targeting Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan — most said to have been launched by CIA drones — that have raised tensions between Washington and Islamabad.
A local security official told AFP that an unmanned CIA aircraft had fired three missiles in the Karikot area of South Waziristan — the same spot where eight suspected militants were killed in a US drone strike 10 days ago.
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One of the missiles struck a vehicle, killing five people inside, another security official said, adding those killed were known Taliban militants.
The other two missiles hit a hilltop house that was a known militant hideout in the area, but it was empty at the time of the strike, the officials said.
One militant was also wounded, they added.
“We rushed out of our homes,” said resident Zar Wali, adding that locals had been panicked by the powerful explosions.
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