Suspected US drone strike kills 4 in Pakistan

FILE - This Jan. 15, 2014, file photo shows a test drone as it is is launched by catapult as a trail plane follows on a ranch near Sarita, Texas. Model aircraft hobbyists, research universities and commercial drone operators and investors have filed lawsuits challenging a government directive that they say imposes tough new limits on the use of model aircraft and broadens a ban on commercial drone flights. (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

ISLAMABAD (AP) — A suspected U.S. drone strike on a Pakistani Taliban compound in North Waziristan tribal region killed at least four alleged militants Sunday, officials said.

Two missiles fired from a drone hit a compound in the village of Khara Tanga in the Datta Khel area, two Pakistani intelligence officials said. The strike also wounded two militants, they said.

The officials said Pakistani Taliban linked to commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur used the compound, but it wasn’t immediately known whether Bahadur was there at the time of the strike.

“There is (suspicion) that an important commander was within the compound when missiles struck but this is yet to be verified,” one of the intelligence officials said.

Both the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to journalists.

North Waziristan is home to both local and al-Qaida-linked militants. Pakistani army is presently carrying out operations in both part of Waziristan.

On Saturday, Pakistani soldiers killed top al-Qaida operative Adnan Shukrijumah who was indicted in the U.S. for his alleged involvement in a plot to bomb New York’s subway system. A military official said that Shukrijumah had escaped the military operation in North Waziristan and was hiding in South Waziristan, where he was killed along with two other suspected militants.

U.S. drone strikes are widely unpopular in Pakistan over civilian casualties and concerns about the country’s national sovereignty being violated. Washington long has used drone strikes to kill militants. U.S. officials rarely comment on the covert drone program run by the CIA.

 

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