US drone attack kills four Al Qaeda militants in Pakistan (Lead)

January 1st, 2009 - 3:49 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Jan 1 (DPA) Four Al Qaeda militants were killed and several others injured Thursday in a suspected US drone attack in northwestern Pakistan, an official and residents said.The drone fired two missiles targeting a vehicle carrying several Islamist insurgents at around 11:15 a.m. in Kari Kot area of South Waziristan tribal district, a known sanctuary for Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, bordering Afghanistan, a security official said.

“Four militants died and three received serious injuries. According to the information we have received from the locals, all those killed were Al Qaeda militants of Turkmen origin,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

A resident, Noorullah, said two US drones were seen flying overhead before the huge explosion. “The Taliban rushed to the site of the attack and have so far pulled three injured out of the vehicle that was completely destroyed by the strike,” he said.

US forces have carried out several drone attacks on suspected hideouts of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants launching cross-border attacks on international forces in Afghanistan in recent months.

Though the strikes have eliminated several Al Qaeda operatives, the Pakistani government has condemned them, saying they violate its sovereignty.

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