PAKISTAN

US drone attack kills at least 14 in eastern Pakistan

At least 14 people have been killed in a strike by a US drone in eastern Pakistan's restive Bajaur tribal district, officials said.

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AFP - A missile strike by a US drone killed at least 14 people in a Pakistani tribal district bordering Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said.

The strike took place on a village 15 kilometres (nine miles) north of Khar, the main town of the restive Bajaur tribal district.

"Fourteen people are now known to have been killed in the drone attack and the toll is likely to rise," a tribal administration official told AFP.

One security official said that a house was targeted in Damadola village, saying all the dead were militants.

Another security official said that a tunnel linked to a bunker in the house of a relative of local Tehreek-e-Taliban chief Maulvi Faqir Mohammad was targeted.

Some relatives of Mohammad are among the dead and eight others were injured in the strike, he said, adding that three foreign militants were killed.

There were reports that Mohammad himself had been in the house but left 10 minutes before the strike, he said.

Pakistani security forces launched a huge operation against Islamist militants in Bajaur last August. In February, they claimed the area had been cleared but unrest has rumbled on.

Hundreds of extremists are believed to have fled Afghanistan into Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal areas to carve out safe havens after the US-led invasion toppled the hardline Taliban regime in Kabul in late 2001.

 

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