News Column

U.S. Drone Strike Kills 17 in Pakistan

July 3, 2013

At least 17 suspected militants were killed in a US drone strike on a mud compound and a vehicle in Pakistan's north-western tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said Wednesday.

The overnight strike near Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan tribal district, are believed to have killed members of the al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network that also claims allegiance to Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Omer.

"The drone fired four missiles which killed at least 17 suspected rebels and destroyed the compound and vehicle," an intelligence official said on condition of anonymity.

It was the first drone strike against the Haqqani network in Pakistan since Afghan Taliban opened a political office in Doha, the capital of Qatar, to begin peace talks aimed at ending the 12-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.

It is second since a new government took over in Pakistan in early June.

The Pakistan Foreign Ministry condemned the latest strike. "Pakistan has repeatedly emphasized the importance of bringing an immediate end to drone strikes," it said in a statement.

"The government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives and have human rights and humanitarian implications," it said.

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Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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