A barrage of US missiles killed at least 15 militants in North Waziristan on Tuesday, obliterating compounds and vehicles used by alleged terrorists, according to Pakistani security officials.
The strike, the second in little over 24 hours, took place in Ghulam Khan village, 20 kilometres east of Miranshah, North Waziristan.
“Four missiles were fired in a US drone strike, which targeted two militant compounds and killed five rebels,” a local security official told AFP.
Further strikes carried out by unmanned drones minutes apart killed 10 militants in Nawab village on the border with Afghanistan, officials added.
“At least 10 people were killed when US drones fired missiles at three vehicles,” one senior security official told AFP. “First, a US drone fired missiles at a double-cabin pick-up truck and about 15 minutes later two more cars were struck,” he added.
Neither the identities of those killed on Tuesday, nor whether they included any high-value targets, were immediately clear.
Meanwhile Pakistani security officials reported that 15 to 21 militants were killed in US missile attacks in North Waziristan on Monday.
The United States does not confirm drone attacks, but its military and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy the unmanned aircraft in the region.
The covert campaign has this year doubled missile attacks in the tribal area, where around 100 drone strikes have killed more than 650 people since January 1, compared to 45 strikes killing 420 people in 2009, according to an AFP tally.
The areas targeted are purported strongholds of the Haqqani network and house the fiefdoms of several warlords including Hafiz Gul Bahadur and his ally Maulvi Sadiq Noor.
Attack on check post thwarted
Two militants were shot dead, and four others injured, in a gun battle at a security check post near Afghan border in Mohmand agency, according to officials.
Armed with sophisticated weapons, the Taliban insurgents launched an attack on the Ziarat Security Check Post in tehsil Saafi, prompting retaliatory fire by the security forces that killed two militants.
Meanwhile a Frontier Corps man was injured as a land-mine exploded in tehsil Ambar of the Mohmand agency. (With additional input from APP)
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2010.