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11 killed in drone attack on South Waziristan

June 19, 2009


WANA, June 18 Missiles fired from a pilotless plane hit a compound in Birmal subdivision of South Waziristan on Thursday, killing 11 local militants, witnesses said.

A government official in Wana, the administrative headquarters of the agency, put the death toll at nine.

Local people said that two missiles struck the compound in Ghurlama village, some 12km west of Wana. It was owned by a local Taliban commander called Malang.

(AP quoted Shahab Ali Shah, a senior official in South Waziristan, as saying the missiles hit close to the villages of Ghurlama and Nandaran, about 10km west of the Wana bazaar area. Two intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four missiles were fired at two sites. AFP quoted administration official Hamayun Khan as saying that up to three drone aircraft were in the area — first firing two missiles killing two militants, then firing two more as the militants gathered to recover the bodies. A military official said that nine militants were killed in the strikes in the Shulam area of South Waziristan.

“Four of those killed were local militants and five were foreigners,” said the official seeking anonymity. He said the foreigners were Arabs and Turkmenistan nationals, but could not confirm their identities.)

Malang, hailing from Gangikhel tribe, is said to be a close associate of Commander Maulvi Nazir. The compound was originally used to store pine nuts before it was occupied by militants.

This was the second drone attack in South Waziristan over the past week. On Sunday, a missile hit a car in Laddha subdivision inhabited mostly by the Mehsuds, killing three people.

Our Correspondent in Miramshah adds Bodies of two alleged US spies were found in Mirali subdivision of North Waziristan.

According to local people, one bullet-riddled body was lying near Shadab flour mills. The deceased was identified as Sher Nawab, a resident of Peshawar.

The other body was found in Lakker Mandi area and was identified as of Anwar Khan.