Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wire: 2 Suspected US Missile Strikes Kill 28 in Pakistan

Off the Wire

Off the Wire:

WASHINGTON, July 8, 2009 -- Newswire services this morning reported that suspected U.S. unmanned aerial vehicles launched two missile attacks on Taliban targets in the South Waziristan tribal region on Wednesday, killing at least 28 militants in the latest in a barrage of strikes close to the Afghan border, intelligence officials said.

The army said the top Taliban commander in another area of the northwest, the scenic Swat Valley, was wounded in an airstrike. It gave no more details, the Associated Press said.

South Waziristan lies close to the Afghan border and is the stronghold of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

AP noted the following details:
The first strike took place before dawn. A suspected U.S. drone fired six missiles at a mountaintop training camp in the Karwan Manza area of South Waziristan, killing 10 militants, the intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media. The nationalities and the identities of the slain men were not immediately known.

Hours later, 12 miles to the east, missiles believed fired from a U.S. drone hit four vehicles carrying Taliban militants, killing 18, the officials said. One official put the death toll as high as 50.

Independent verification of the casualties and the target was not possible because the region is remote, dangerous and largely inaccessible to journalists.
U.S. officials do not publicly comment on the strikes.

The latest strike brings to six the number of suspected American missile attacks in South Waziristan in just over two weeks, AP said.

(Report from newswire sources.)

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