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Taliban militants kill seven 'US spies' in North Waziristan

Taliban militants killed seven Pakistani tribesmen it accused of being US spies, in the North Waziristan border, officials said. Many locals have been killed in the region for the same reason.

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REUTERS - Taliban militants killed seven Pakistani tribesmen in the volatile North Waziristan region on the Afghan border who they suspected of spying for the United States, security officials said on Sunday.

Militants have killed a large number of tribal elders, government officials and Afghan nationals on suspicions of spying in Waziristan.

The bullet-riddled bodies of five tribesmen were dumped on a roadside in a village 35 km (20 miles) south of North Waziristan’s main town of Miranshah, the officials said.

“All of them appeared to have been killed last night and a hand-written note was lying near these bodies saying they were American spies,” a security official in Miranshah said by telephone.

“Whosoever spied for America will face the same fate,” another security official quoted the note as saying. Two other bodies were found elsewhere in the region with a similar note from the Taliban.

North Waziristan straddles Afghanistan’s southeastern Khost province where a Jordanian double-agent, Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, killed seven CIA employees in a suicide bombing inside U.S. Forward Operation Base Chapman on Dec. 30.

The Taliban later issued a farewell video that showed the bomber sitting beside Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud.

The United States has stepped up its attacks by pilotless drones in North and South Waziristan since the Khost bombing.

A U.S. missile strike on Jan. 14 in South Waziristan aimed at Mehsud killed a dozen militants. The Taliban said he was wounded.

The army launched an offensive against Mehsud’s fighters in South Waziristan in mid-October and has captured most of their bases.

The United States praised Pakistan’s military campaign but wants it to eliminate Afghan militants who cross the border from their Pakistani tribal sanctuaries to fight Western forces.

North Waziristan is a major sanctuary for the Afghan Taliban.

The army has ruled out any new offensive for up to a year, saying it had to consolidate its gains in South Waziristan.
 

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