Suspected US drone attack leaves six dead in north-west Pakistan
A suspected US pilotless aircraft on Friday targeted a militant hideout in Pakistan's restive tribal region along the border with Afghanistan, killing six people and several, Pakistani intelligence official said, dpa reported.
Two missiles were fired from the drone aircraft at around 21:15 at a house in Qatira village, some 20 kilometres south of Mira Ali, one of the main towns in the tribal district of North Waziristan, a known sanctuary of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters.
"According to the information we have received so far from the locals, six people are confirmed dead," said a local intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Taliban militants have cordoned off the site which so often indicates that there might be a high value target among the dead, he added.
US forces in Afghanistan have conducted about two dozen airstrikes in Pakistan's tribal region in the past two months and at least one outside it - in the Bannu district of North-West Frontier Province.
A similar airstrike on November 22 in North Waziristan, killed an al-Qaeda operative and a fugitive British militant, Rashid Rauf, who was once suspected of involvement in an alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic jetliners.
But these airstrikes have also caused dozens of civilian casualties, fuelling anger in Pakistan, a key US ally in the fight against terrorism.
Islamabad says only its forces have the right to take action against militants on its soil, insisting the US air raids violate its sovereignty and undermine its efforts against terrorism.