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Suspected US missile strike kills 3 in Pakistan

A suspected US drone fired a missile into North Waziristan, an area of sanctuary near the Afghan border for al Qaeda and Taliban militants, killing at least three people, intelligence officials and a resident said on Friday.

world Updated: Dec 06, 2008 08:48 IST

A suspected US drone fired a missile into North Waziristan, an area of sanctuary near the Afghan border for al Qaeda and Taliban militants, killing at least three people, intelligence officials and a resident said on Friday.

The missile struck a house near Mir Ali, the second major town in the North Waziristan.

"So far, we have confirmation for three deaths," an intelligence official in the area told Reuters by telephone.

Naqibullah, a resident, said two missiles were fired. He said several people were also wounded in the strike.

"Two drones are still flying over the area," he added.

There have been over 20 strikes in the last three months in North and South Waziristan tribal regions and the nearby areas, reflecting US impatience over militants from Pakistan fuelling the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and fears that al Qaeda fighters in northwest Pakistan could plan attacks in the West.

Rashid Rauf, a British militant with al Qaeda links, and an Egyptian were killed in a similar strike in Mir Ali last month, intelligence officials say.

The latest strike came amid growing tension between nuclear-armed Pakistan and India over Mumbai attack.

India has blamed militants based in Pakistan for the attacks on two luxury hotels, a railway station and a Jewish centre in its financial capital last week that killed at least 171 people.

Pakistan has condemned Mumbai attack and promised full cooperation in investigations but senior security officials have threatened that they would pull out troops from the tribal areas and the western borders with Afghanistan and shift them to eastern borders if situation worsened with India.