PESHAWAR, Pakistan: Twin suspected US missile strikes yesterday on a tribal area in northwest Pakistan known as a hub of Taleban and Al-Qaeda activity killed at least eight militants, officials said. Eight people were killed when an unmanned US drone early yesterday fired two guided missiles at a suspected compound in Kuri Kot Village in South Waziristan.
A Dera Ismail Khan-based journalist Saeedullah Khan told Arab News “drone flights in this region is a routine matter. Now it’s not a big news for residents but when they attack, local tribesmen either protest or if they get to know target was foreigners’ hide-out they keep silent as per a localized arrangement.”
Meanwhile in Peshawar, buses parked in a private school were yesterday set on fire by some unknown persons. According to police sources, buses parked in a private school at Warsak Road were damaged through explosives and then they caught the fire.
In Landi Kotal bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan, militants have set on fire one more tanker supplying oil to NATO forces at Neki Khel on Pak-Afghan road in Khyber Agency.
The missile strikes were the latest on extremists in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan — all said to have been launched by unmanned CIA aircraft — that have raised tensions between Washington and Islamabad.
Two missiles “fired by US drones” struck the villages of Karikot and Shin Warsak in troubled South Waziristan, a senior security official told reporters. “Two vehicles fitted with guns were destroyed,” the official said, adding that those killed were all inside the cars.
It was not immediately clear if any senior Taleban or Al-Qaeda operatives were killed in the strikes, which took place just minutes apart, he said. Local intelligence sources said they believed the militants killed were members of local Pakistani Taleban groups.
The strikes caused huge fires in both villages, sending panicked residents running into the streets, the security official said, adding that one house was damaged. Hundreds of Taleban fighters later gathered in the two villages — both outside Wana, the main town in South Waziristan — to say funeral prayers for those killed, local residents told reporters.
A spokesman for local Taleban commander Mullah Nazir told reporters that Nazir had pledged to seek revenge for Monday’s attack “within three days.” Saleh Shah, a Pakistani senator from the tribal areas, strongly condemned yesterday’s attacks, saying they were “counterproductive” and would not help restore peace and order in the region.