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7 Arabs among missile victims

January 31, 2008

MIRAMSHAH, Jan 30: Militants retrieved and buried on Wednesday the bodies of 12 foreigners who had been killed in a missile attack on a residential compound in the Khushali Toorikhel area of North Waziristan on Monday night.

Local people said the identity of the militants killed in the attack remained unknown but according to unconfirmed reports seven of them were Arabs while the other five from central Asian.

The compound, located about three kilometres south of Mirali town, is owned by Abdus Sattar, a driver, who survived the attack.

A large number of militants had surrounded the site to get the bodies which the later buried in a local graveyard.

“Militants are still keeping the local people away from the place,” a villager told Dawn on phone. He said that unmanned air vehicles had hovered over the area on Wednesday.

The attack is a mystery because it is still not known who had fired the missile.

Some local people claimed that a drone had fired the missile but officials have been keeping quiet.

“I heard the sound of a plane just before the explosion,” said the man who identified himself as Zaheer Gul.

Several places in the North Waziristan have come under attack in the recent past. A house was attacked in Mosaki village in Mirali tehsil in December 2005 in which Al Qaeda’s operational commander Hamza Rabia was killed.

Meanwhile, militants attacked a security base in the Razmak sub-division of North Waziristan on Wednesday.

According to sources, two army soldiers were killed while another was injured in the afternoon attack.

They said that the militants had sneaked into Razmak from the adjacent Makin area where security forces had launched an operation against supporters of Baitullah Mehsud.