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Attacks laid to US drones leave seven dead in Pakistan

By Rasool Dawar
Associated Press / October 28, 2010

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Suspected US drones fired missiles at a house and a vehicle in a militant-infested area of northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border yesterday, killing seven people, intelligence officials said.

The strikes, which occurred nearly 12 hours apart in Pakistan’s North Waziristan area, appeared to be the latest attacks in an intensifying campaign by the United States to use unmanned aircraft in Pakistan to wage war against militants who regularly target foreign troops in Afghanistan.

There have been at least 19 suspected US missile strikes in Pakistan this month, many of them in North Waziristan. There were 21 such attacks in September, nearly double the previous monthly record.

The first strike occurred at about 3:30 a.m., when a drone fired a missile at a house in the Spin Wam area, killing three people, said the intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to members of the media.

The second attack took place around 2:45 p.m., when a drone fired a missile at a vehicle in the Datta Khel area, killing four suspected foreign militants, the officials said. Two were Arab and two were Western, the officials said.

No additional information about the suspected militants was provided.

But many drone strikes in recent months have targeted fighters linked to the Haqqani network, which military officials have declared the most dangerous militant group in Afghanistan.

The United States refuses to publicly acknowledge that it carries out drone attacks in Pakistan, but officials have said privately that the covert CIA-run program has killed several high-level Taliban and Al Qaeda commanders.

Pakistani officials often publicly criticize the strikes as a violation of the country’s sovereignty, but the government is widely believed to provide intelligence information for the attacks and allow drones to take off from a base inside Pakistan.

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