U.S. missile strike kills 6 militants in NW Pakistan

Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:36am GMT

By Hafiz Wazir

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters) - A U.S. drone fired two missiles into Pakistan's northwestern South Waziristan region Tuesday, killing at least six insurgents, including an Al Qaeda foreign fighter, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The missiles struck a sprawling compound near Wana, the main town of the region. It was being used by a group of "Punjabi Taliban," a term used for Pakistani militants drawn from the central province of Punjab, intelligence officials said.

"Six militants have been killed. An al Qaeda man of foreign origin is also believed to have been killed," an intelligence official told Reuters. "The death toll may rise."

The nationality of the foreigner could not be immediately determined.

There was no independent confirmation of the attack, and militant groups often dispute government accounts.

A large number of Arab, Chechen and Central Asian insurgents have taken shelter with Pakistani militants in the lawless tribal regions on the Afghan border after fleeing the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan in late 2001.

The United States has stepped up missile strikes by pilotless drones in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt since a Jordanian suicide bomber killed seven CIA employees at a U.S. base in Afghanistan's eastern Khost province in December.

But most of this year's strikes have been in North Waziristan, next door. This is the first drone strike in South Waziristan since July 2009, according to the New America Foundation, a think tank in Washington that tracks drone strikes.   Continued...

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