Six killed in suspected US strike in Pakistan (Lead)

September 8th, 2008 - 3:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Sep 8 (DPA) A suspected US missile strike on a militant compound Monday killed at least six people and wounded 15 others in Pakistan’s restive North Waziristan tribal district near the Afghan border, security officials and locals said.The attack targeted houses allegedly used by Afghan Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani in Dandai Darpakhel village, located on the outskirts of the district’s main town of Miranshah.

“Six people, including women and children, were killed in the Monday morning strike,” a security official said on the condition of anonymity, because of the sensitivity of the issue. At least 15 people were also wounded.

He said several missiles flattened a residential compound and an adjoining seminary founded by Haqqani, an associate of Osama bin Laden.

The official said the casualty toll could be much higher as its seemed that several seminary students were still trapped under tons of rubble.

An army spokesman confirmed that explosions did occur near Miranshah but refused to give further details.

According to locals, multiple deafening blasts were heard and drones were also seen flying over the area.

US forces in Afghanistan and the US Central Intelligence Agency operate pilotless aircraft that have carried out several airstrikes in the tribal belt believed to be refuge for al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters.

The US aerial strikes have surged, and Monday’s attack was the sixth in recent weeks. Six people, mostly women and children, were killed Thursday when a missile fired from a US drone hit a house in Mohammad Khel area of North Waziristan.

US troops also conducted their first reported ground attack into Pakistani territory on Wednesday killing 20 people in Angor Adda area of South Waziristan.

Islamabad protested “the gross violation of Pakistan’s territory and immense loss of civilian life” and summoned US envoy in the country Anne W. Patterson to lodge a formal protest.

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