MIRANSHAH: A drone strike in North Waziristan killed 10 suspected militants on Monday evening.
A US drone fired three missiles on a vehicle in the border areas of Gurwakha, in Datta Khel tehsil. Local sources said that five militants had been killed.
A local security official on the condition of anonymity confirmed the casualties and said that the drone had fired three missiles on double-cabin vehicle.
The area in which the vehicle was targeted belongs to the Wazir tribe and is under the control of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who has been blamed for a number of attacks in Afghanistan.
This was the second drone strike in the region in the past 24 hours. A drone strike yesterday in Gurwakha area (part of which extends into Afghanistan) killed six militants after a drone fired missiles on a vehicle near the border on the Afghan side.
Two unmanned aircraft fired four missiles, fired missiles at the compound and a vehicle parked in the Gurwakha area of Datta Khel town, 45 kilometres (28 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district, a senior official based in Peshawar said.
“Two missiles struck the compound and another two hit a vehicle,” the official said. “At least 10 militants were killed in this American drone attack.”
A second security official based in Miranshah confirmed the death toll.
Both officials said the number of casualties could rise as the area which the drone strike targeted had been completely destroyed.
Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants have carved out strongholds in the northwest where they are said to have plotted attacks on Pakistani, Afghan and Western targets.
A total of 20 US drone strikes have now been reported in Pakistan’s tribal belt since US commandos found and killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a unilateral airborne raid on the Pakistani garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2.
Officials said that all those killed in Monday’s strike were local militants.
Washington has called Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwest tribal region the most dangerous place on Earth and the global headquarters of al Qaeda.
Relations between Pakistan and the United States have deteriorated sharply since the killing of bin Laden, and Islamabad has demanded an end to the drone strikes.