New US drone strike kills 3 militants in Pakistan: Official | world | Hindustan Times
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New US drone strike kills 3 militants in Pakistan: Official

world Updated: Jun 11, 2010 10:32 IST

US missiles targeted a house in a Pakistani tribal area on Friday, killing three militants in the latest strike in a recent spike in drone attacks, Pakistani officials said.

The target of the attack -- the second within 12 hours -- was a house in Bahadar Khel village, some 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, officials said.

"US drones fired three missiles at a house used by militants around 7.30 am (0230 GMT) killing at least three militants," a senior security official in Peshawar told AFP.

Two intelligence officials in Miranshah also confirmed the attack and the death toll.

It was yet not clear whether any high value target was hit, Pakistani security officials said.

The previous drone strike killed three militants late Thursday at a house in the village of Khaddi, some 15 kilometres (nine miles) east of Miranshah, officials said.

The area around Khaddi and Bahadar Khel village are known for the presence of two militant groups loyal to Taliban-linked Afghan warlords Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Moulvi Sadiq Noor, officials said.

The two men are reputed to control thousands of fighters who attack US-led forces across the border in Afghanistan.

More than 900 people have been killed in nearly 100 drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008. The strikes fuel anti-American sentiment in Muslim Pakistan and in public are condemned by the government.

Washington has branded the rugged tribal area a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and officials say it is home to Islamist extremists who hatch attacks on US-led troops in Afghanistan and on cities abroad.

The United States has been increasing pressure on Pakistan to crack down on Islamist havens along the Afghan border.

Pakistani military officials have not ruled out an offensive in North Waziristan, but argue that gains elsewhere need to be consolidated to prevent their troops from being stretched too thin.