Eighth U.S. drone attack kills 15 militants in North Waziristan

Miramshah, June 4: A U.S. drone strike targeted at a militant compound in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal area killed 15 insurgents in a pre-dawn attack on Monday, security officials have said.

Two missiles were fired on the compound in Mir Ali, 25 kilometres east of Miramshah, the capital of North Waziristan, near the Afghan border, reports The Dawn.

“Fifteen militants were killed in a dawn strike on a compound. The bodies of those killed were unable to be identified,” a security official said.

It was the eighth drone strike in Pakistan since a NATO conference on Afghanistan in Chicago last month.

The official said there were reports that some foreigners have also been killed but it is yet to be confirmed.

“We have received reports that 15 militants have been killed in a drone strike but at this moment we don’t know about their nationalities,” he said.

Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt the main hub of Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

North Waziristan is a stronghold of the Haqqani network and Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud.

Pakistan condemns the missile attacks, saying the attacks are counter-productive, violate its sovereignty, kill civilians and fuel anti-US sentiment, but the U.S. argues that drone strikes are a valuable weapon in the war against militants.

According to a tally, 45 U.S. missile strikes were reported in Pakistan’s tribal belt in 2009, the year Obama took office, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011. (ANI)