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.
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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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