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US drone kills 16 militants in S. Waziristan

July 08, 2009

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TANK, July 7 A suspected US drone fired two missiles at a militant training centre in Laddha subdivision of South Waziristan on Tuesday, killing 16 militants and injuring 10 others. Five foreigners were among the dead, security officials said.

The camp allegedly run by militants loyal to Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud was in Chenakai area of the Shabikhels, a sub clan of Mehsud tribe. Baitullah belongs to this clan.

There was no report if any high-value target had been hit in the attack carried out at about 10am. Sources said that a local commander of Baitullah was among the dead.

(According to AFP, the missile strike pulverised a compound which a high-ranking official described as a former office of Baitullah Mehsud, who has a five-million-dollar price on his head and a bounty of $615,000 in Pakistan for allegedly masterminding multiple deadly bombings.)

US drones have intensified attacks in North and South Waziristan after security forces launched an operation against militants. On June 23, the unmanned aircraft had attacked a militants' hideout and a funeral ceremony of a militant commander, killing about 70 people.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Air Force jets shelled suspected positions of militants in Berwand area of South Waziristan.

One soldier was killed when a military convoy hit an improvised explosive device in Gomal Zam area. The convoy was going to Tank from Wana.

Militants fired rockets at a fort in Frontier Jandola. One civilian was killed when troops returned fire.

One soldier was killed when a military convoy was attacked with a bomb near the Khajori checkpost in North Waziristan on Tuesday. The convoy was proceeding to Miramshah from Bannu.

Helicopter gunships pounded militants' hideouts in Datakhel area. Officials claimed that four militants had been killed in the attack.

They said that militants had fired 21 rockets at a fort in Dwa Toi area of South Waziristan on Monday night. However, there was no report of any casualty.