A US drone targeted a compound in the lawless North Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan today, killing eight suspected militants, officials said. The CIA-operated spy plane fired two missiles on the compound in Shawal area, 50 km from Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan Agency, officials were quoted as saying by TV news channels.
The strike destroyed the house and killed eight suspected militants. The explosion triggered a fire and several bodies were burnt beyond recognition, the officials said. There has been a significant increase in drone strikes in Pakistan since May, when a NATO summit in Chicago concluded without an agreement on ending Islamabad’s six-month blockade on supply routes to Afghanistan.
Pakistan shut the supply lines in November last year after a cross-border NATO air strike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The US has persisted with its drone campaign despite Pakistan describing them as a violation of sovereignty and counter-productive for the war on terror. Islamabad says the drone strikes fan anti-American sentiments in Pakistan because they can kill civilians and cause collateral damage. Recent drone strikes have largely focussed on North Waziristan, described by US and Afghan officials as a hub for Taliban and Al Qaeda elements. A drone attack on June 4 killed 15 militants in North Waziristan, including senior al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi.
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