US drone attack kills six in South Waziristan

June 23rd, 2009 - 2:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban Peshawar, June 23 (IANS) Six people were killed and several others injured in a US drone attack Tuesday in the South Waziristan agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) along the border with Afghanistan, a media report said.
Quoting sources, Geo TV said US drones fired three missiles at a house in Ladha sub district, a stronghold of Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud.

The attack comes five days after a drone strike near Wana, South Waziristan’s largest town, killed at least nine Taliban militants.

The air strikes targeted a militant training facility and a house, an official said.

The Pakistani military, which had swung into South Waziristan last week, is now planning a full scale offensive against Mehsud, whose writ runs over much of the agency.

The military says it will first complete its operations in the Swat, Buner and Lower Dir districts of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) that began April 26 before concentrating its energies on South Waziristan.

It was not immediately clear whether the two drone attacks were linked to the military’s efforts or were independently staged by the US-led coalition forces in Afghanistan.

The drone attacks have been a sore point with the Pakistani leadership, with President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani repeatedly calling for them to be halted.

With the US paid little heed to their pleas, Zardari changed tack, saying Pakistan should have control over the drones and also be provided the technology for manufacturing them.

The protestations notwithstanding, some insiders in the Pakistani military feel they have the tacit support of the army, which considers them one of the many elements in the war against terror.

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