ISLAMABAD — A suspected U.S. missile strike by a drone aircraft flattened a militant hide-out in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing 27 local and foreign insurgents, intelligence officials said.
Several more purported militants were wounded in the attack in South Waziristan, a militant stronghold near the Afghan border where al-Qaida leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri are believed to be hiding.
The new U.S. administration has brushed off Pakistani criticism that the missile strikes fuel religious extremism and boost anti-American sentiment in the Islamic world’s only nuclear-armed nation.
Pilotless U.S. aircraft are believed to have launched more than 30 attacks since July, and American officials say al-Qaida’s leadership has been decimated. Pakistani officials say the vast majority of the victims are civilians.