15 feared killed in air attack

MIRAMSHAH, Aug 9: At least 15 people were feared dead after army’s helicopter gunships attacked the Degan village in North Waziristan on Thursday evening following a roadside explosion which left four soldiers injured, witnesses and security officials said.

They said the helicopters bombed residential compounds and other infrastructure, destroying a petrol pump and five vehicles.

Witnesses claimed that most of the people killed in the air strike were ordinary tribesmen.

“The shelling was so intense that the entire area reverberated with loud explosions,” they said, adding that the shelling continued for half-an-hour.

(An official spokesman insisted that most of those killed were militants.)

The four soldiers were injured when a roadside explosive device went off near the Boya checkpoint on the Miramshah-Datakhel road.

Residents said a military convoy was on way to Miramshah when one of the vehicles in the convoy hit a roadside bomb near the checkpoint. The wounded soldiers were taken to hospital.

On Wednesday night, militants fired several rockets at the paramilitary base in Miramshah. One of the rockets hit the air strip near the base, but caused no damage or casualties. Three rockets were fired at the Saidgai checkpoint in the region.

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