PESHAWAR: A US drone fired a missile at a compound in the Mata Sangar area near the Afghan border in Kurram Agency on Sunday night, sources said.

They said that the missile was fired at the compound at around 9pm, but no casualty was reported. Mata Sangar, a hamlet, lies near Ghuzgarhi south of Parachinar.

Locals said that the missile hit a mosque which was also used as a ‘resting’ place.

They said that planes had been hovering over the area for the last three days.

The sources said that the compound, which came under attack on Sunday night, belonged to militant ‘commander’ Bashrat Khan, affiliated with the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

It was the fourth drone strike in the Ghuzgarhi area since October that left around 40 suspected militants dead, including some fighters belonging to the Haqqani network.

Officials believed that the area had a concentration of Pakistani and Afghan Taliban and was inaccessible.

Drone strikes surged in Kurram in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s announcement of a new Afghan policy in August in which Pakistan was accused of offering “safe havens to agents of chaos”.

Published in Dawn, December 19th, 2017

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