LAHORE / MIRANSHAH: A US drone attack on a militant compound in Shawal district in North Waziristan killed eight militants on Sunday.
Militants belonging to Hafiz Gul Bahadur’s faction were the target of the attack, according to some officials.
However, some of those killed might also include foreigners belonging to the Turkmenistan Islamic Movement, according to some intelligence sources.
The unmanned aircraft fired four Hellfire missiles on a compound in Dre Nishter village in Shawal district, 50 kilometres southwest of Miranshah, near the Afghan border, they said.
“Four missiles targeted the compound, killing eight militants,” a security official told AFP.
“The strike destroyed the house and triggered a fire,” another official said.
“It was difficult to identify the bodies immediately as some of them were charred,” he said.
A similar attack in the region on Tuesday killed five militants.
There has been a dramatic increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since May when a Nato summit in Chicago could not strike a deal to end a six-month blockade on Nato supplies crossing into Afghanistan.
A drone attack on June 4 killed 15 militants in North Waziristan, including senior al Qaeda figure Abu Yahya al Libi.
According to the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, under President Barack Obama, on average, one drone strike has hit Pakistan every four days.
It said most of the 2,292 to 2,863 people reported to have died were low-ranking militants, but that only 126 fighters had been named.
It said it had credible reports of between 385 and 775 civilians being killed, including 164 to 168 children.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay last month called for a UN investigation into US drone strikes in Pakistan, questioning their legality and saying they kill innocent civilians.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2012.
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