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US drone strike kills 20 militants in North Waziristan

November 16, 2010

The attack happened in the Bangi Dar village of North Waziristan. –File Photo

MIR ALI: A US missile strike destroyed a home and a speeding vehicle carrying insurgents near the Afghan border early Tuesday, killing at least 20 alleged militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The attack happened in the Bangi Dar village of North Waziristan, a tribal region that is a base for insurgents responsible for many of the attacks on US and Nato forces just across the border in Afghanistan.

At least four missiles were fired, two at the mud-brick house and two at the vehicle. Four of the slain were in the vehicle while at least 16 died in the flattened home.

The identity of the dead was not known, and agents were trying to get more details, said the officials. They spoke on condition of anonymity in line with the policy of the intelligence agency.

North Waziristan has been the target of nearly all of the US missile strikes in Pakistan this year — a number that is around 100 and a major jump over previous years.

US authorities want Pakistan to launch a military offensive in the region, but Islamabad has resisted, saying it has its hands full with army operations against insurgents elsewhere in the northwest.

The Pakistani government publicly denounces the drone-fired missile attacks. It has asked Washington to transfer the technology to Islamabad so that the Pakistani army could launch such strikes on its own.