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Suspected US strike kills three in South Waziristan

July 11, 2009

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Officials said the drone fired a pair of missiles at the communication centre in the region's Painda Khel area. — File

DERA ISMAIL KHAN A suspected US missile strike hit a Taliban communication centre in the countrys northwest late Friday, killing at least three people and wounding three more, intelligence officials said.

The attack was the fifth in two weeks by attributed to American unmanned drone aircraft targeting Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud and his network of militants.

Three intelligence officials said the drone fired a pair of missiles at the communication centre in the Painda Khel region of South Waziristan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.

South Waziristan is part of the tribal region along Pakistans border with Afghanistan, and top Taliban and al-Qaeda leaders are believed to be hiding there.

Independent verification of the attack was not possible because the region is remote, dangerous and largely inaccessible to journalists.

Pakistans army is also deploying troops in South Waziristan and launching regular airstrikes of its own to try to kill or capture Mehsud, who is blamed for orchestrating many of the bloodiest suicide attacks in Pakistan.