16 die in US drone strike in Pakistan

Islamabad, Aug 10: Sixteen people were killed Wednesday in a US drone attack in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area, media reports said.

A US unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at a house near Miranshah in North Waziristan, Xinhua cited a TV channel as saying.

Locals pulled out the bodies from the rubble.

Security sources claimed that they were local Taliban militants and were using the house as their hideout.

The CIA and Afghan officials allege that North Waziristan is a main base for the Taliban and Al Qaida where they plan cross-border attacks into Afghanistan on foreign and Afghan forces.

Pakistan publicly opposes drone strikes, calling it counterproductive in the war against militants.

US officials insist drone attacks are effective in the ongoing war against the militants. Several key Al Qaida and Taliban leaders have been killed in the attacks. But tribesmen claim that the majority of the victims are locals.

A total of 428 people have reportedly been killed in such drone strikes since the beginning of this year.

IANS