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Suspected US strike kills 5 in Pakistan

Associated Press / September 13, 2010

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MIR ALI, Pakistan — A suspected US missile strike yesterday killed at least five associates of warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who is fighting Western troops in Afghanistan, officials said.

Bahadur struck a truce with the Pakistani military last year as it waged an offensive in the South Waziristan tribal area against the Pakistani Taliban, a group dedicated to attacking the Pakistani state, among other targets. He has focused instead on battling US and NATO troops across the border in Afghanistan.

Pakistan intelligence officials said two missiles targeted a home in Datta Khel in the North Waziristan tribal area where Bahadur’s associates were believed to be staying. They said five people were killed and three were believed to be wounded.

Because they were not authorized to talk to the media, the officials spoke on the condition of anonymity.

A series of suspected US missile attacks have occurred in North Waziristan, a lawless region home to Al Qaeda leaders plotting attacks in the West, insurgents battling foreign troops in Afghanistan, and extremists responsible for bombings in Pakistan.

Four air strikes pounded the area over 24 hours this past week, the last killing five suspected militants early Thursday, officials said.

There were at least four other attacks earlier in the week. Most are believed to be fired from remote-controlled planes that can hover for hours.

Pakistan has condemned the American missile strikes as violations of its sovereignty, warning that civilian casualties deepen anti-US sentiment and complicate the fight against terrorism. But many suspect the nations have a deal allowing the attacks.

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