PESHAWAR/ DI KHAN:
Two al Qaeda militants and as many Punjabi Taliban were among the 17 people killed in Tuesday night’s drone strike in North Waziristan Agency, The Express Tribune has learnt.
Remotely-piloted American aircraft fired a barrage of missiles at a compound in the Sarai Darpa Khel area near Miramshah Bazaar late Tuesday night, killing 17 suspected militants.
Two al Qaeda militants – Abu Yousaf Aljaziri and Maulana Akhtar Zadran – and as many Punjabi Taliban – Rana Ashraf from Sargodha and Naveed Butt from Lahore – were among the fatalities, an intelligence official confirmed to The Express Tribune. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity.
Local tribesmen said US drones had been hovering at low altitude in the main town of the agency since a day before the strike.
It was this year’s deadliest strike and the second since Nawaz Sharif took office as prime minister following his party’s victory in the May 11 elections. Earlier on June 7, a US drone targeted a compound in Mangroti village, in the Shawal tehsil of North Waziristan, killing seven suspected militants.
A dozen mortar shells fired from across the Durand Lind landed in a border village of South Waziristan Agency Saturday night, injuring five tribesmen, government officials confirmed to The Express Tribune.
Six mortar shells landed in the Angor Addar Bazaar and as many in the surrounding areas, the officials added. The shelling triggered a fire on a pile of fuel wood and coal in the bazaar. However, local tribesmen managed to put out the blaze.
The injured tribesmen were taken to the agency headquarters hospital in Wana and a private clinic in Rustham Bazaar. One of them was shifted to DI Khan for treatment of his critical wounds.
Angor Adda, also known as Birmal, is a tehsil of Wana subdivision. The mountainous region has frequently been hit by shelling from neighbouring Afghanistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2013.
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