LADAH, Nov 16: At least 16 suspected militants were killed when US drones targeted two compounds in Sararogha area of South Waziristan Agency on Wednesday, official sources said.

Eight missiles hit the targets in the volatile area at around 11.45am. One of the compounds hit is owned by Maulana Salam, a cleric.

Unmanned planes then struck the other compound looked after by Maulvi Mukhlis alias Abu Nasir. The area is adjacent to the Frontier Region Jandola.

According to the sources, 16 people were killed.

An official of the political administration said an Arab national, Abu Zabia, was among the dead.

A source in the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan confirmed casualties in the attacks. However, he denied death of the Arab national.

On Tuesday night, militants attacked a check-post in Ladah area, killing a security man and wounding another, an official said. He said security forces returned the fire.

The Taliban claimed that their men had captured weapons during the attack.

AFP adds: The US missiles destroyed a Taliban base on the Afghan border, killing up to 18 militants, including possible Al Qaeda fighters, local officials said.

Five US drones fired up to 10 missiles into a sprawling compound in the Baber Ghar area of South Waziristan, killing 15 to 18 fighters in the deadliest American strike reported by Pakistani officials in three months.

“The target was a base of Pakistani Taliban. We have reports that 16 to 18 militants were killed,” the official told AFP in Peshawar. Another official put the death toll at 15.

An official in Wana, the main town of South Waziristan, confirmed that a base of Tehrik-i-Taliban was destroyed and said there were reports that ‘some foreigners’ were also killed.

“It was a Taliban base. They were using this place as a training camp, to keep weapons and to take shelter,” the official in Wana said. “The drones came almost at the same time,” he added.

Officials said the attacks came minutes apart about three kilometres from the border of Afghanistan’s Paktia province, one of the flashpoints in the 10-year Taliban resistance.

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