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US missile strikes kill 13 militants in Pakistan

US missile strikes kill 13 militants in Pakistan

Three U.S. drone aircraft fired missiles into Taliban sanctuaries in northwestern Pakistan just hours apart on Wednesday killing 13 suspected militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.
The strikes were targeting militants holed up in the North Waziristan tribal region, which is dominated by Afghan militant groups launching attacks on U.S. forces and its NATO allies across the border.
Washington wants Islamabad to launch a military offensive in the region, and so far has been relying on the missile strikes to take out the militants.
The U.S. believes that the Haqqani network, led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a veteran of the war against the Soviet invasion, is the biggest threat to allied forces in Afghanistan.
Pakistan, however, has never really confronted the group because analysts believe it is being cultivated as a strategic asset to maintain Pakistani influence in Afghanistan once American forces quit.
In the first attack, the unmanned aircraft fired missiles at a vehicle in the Qutab Khel area of Miran Shah, the main town in the region. The slain insurgents were from Uzbekistan, the officials said.
In the second attack, missiles struck a house and a vehicle in Khaso Khel village near Mir Ali, killing four other suspected militants.
The third strike involved four missiles slamming into a vehicle in Pai Khel village in Datta Khel town, killing yet four more militants, the officials said.
The two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said their agents were still trying to get more details.
North Waziristan is too dangerous for outsiders to visit and independently confirm the attacks. U.S. officials do not acknowledge firing the missiles, much less discuss who they are targeting.
There were at least 20 such U.S. missile strikes in the region in October.
Government officials were not immediately available for comment. Pakistan has publicly denounced the drone attacks and urged Washington to transfer technology to Islamabad so that its military could launch any such attacks on its own.
It is widely believed, however, that Pakistan has given a tacit approval to the attacks.


Updated : 2021-05-09 07:34 GMT+08:00