Toll from suspected US strike now 9

Published February 8, 2013

-File Photo

MIRANSHAH: Pakistani officials say the death toll from a suspected US drone strike in a restive tribal region has risen to 9, all of whom were militants.

Two intelligence officials said Saturday that three members of the Pakistani Taliban movement wounded in the Friday strike on a militant compound died overnight. They had originally put the death toll at six.

The officials said their field informants confirmed two members of al Qaeda, Abu Majid Al Iraqi and Sheikh Abu Waqas Al-Yamani, were among the dead. They said the remaining seven were all members of Pakistan's branch of the Taliban. Both officials spoke anonymously as they weren't authorized to speak to the media.

The Taliban did not immediately comment on the strike in the Babar Ghar area of South Waziristan.

The drone fired two missiles on a house, destroying it completely. Five others were also injured, sources said.

Abu Waqas was the group's bombs and explosives expert. Sources also said that the compound was full of TTP figures, who were having dinner at the time of the drone attack.

The area is inhabited by Hakimullah Mehsud-led TTP fighters and other foreigners.

Additional reporting by Zahir Shah Sherazi

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