World News

U.S. missile strike kills 8 militants in Pakistan

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan (Reuters) - A U.S. drone aircraft fired two missiles into an al Qaeda and Taliban hideout in northwest Pakistan on the Afghan border on Sunday, killing eight militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The identity of the militants killed in the Lowari Mandi area of the North Waziristan tribal region was not known.

The United States has stepped up attempts to kill leading militants in North Waziristan since a suicide bombing at a fortified U.S. base across the border in the Afghan province of Khost killed seven CIA employees last December.

“Fire is still raging in the targeted compound,” resident Abdul Akbar said by telephone.

Authorities said they had found the bodies of three tribesmen believed to have been shot dead by militants on suspicion of spying for the United States.

Separately, 16 militants were killed when Pakistani helicopters pounded their positions in the tribal regions of Kurram and Orakzai. And three people were killed and 18 wounded when a police vehicle hit a bomb in the city of Quetta.

U.S. officials last week said they believed Hussein al-Yemeni, a top al Qaeda planner who Washington believes helped to organize the Khost bombing, had been killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan this month.

Pakistani officially opposes U.S. drone strikes and says the civilian casualties they frequently cause undermine its own efforts against the Taliban. Instead, it wants the United States to give it drone technology so it can carry out its own strikes.

Reporting by Haji Mujtaba; Writing by Zeeshan Haider; Editing by Kevin Liffey