26 die in suspected US drone attack in Pakistan (Lead)

February 14th, 2009 - 3:34 pm ICT by IANS  

TalibanIslamabad, Feb 14 (DPA) At least 26 people were killed Saturday when a suspected US drone fired two missiles on a militant hideout in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal region, an intelligence official said.

Seven people were also injured in the attack in South Waziristan, a known sanctuary of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants launching cross-border attacks on international troops in Afghanistan.

“The missile strikes flattened the fort-like house in the Shawangai area,” an intelligence official said on the condition of anonymity. “Locals have so far pulled out 26 bodies, and more people are believed to be buried under the rubble.”

Most of those killed were Uzbeks having a meeting in the compound, he said.

Taliban fighters surrounded the area after the attack and moved the wounded to a nearby hospital, he added.

American forces have carried out more than 30 strikes by drones in past four months in Pakistan, killing dozens of Al Qaeda and Taliban militants. Pakistan has opposed the strikes, saying they violate its sovereignty and fuel public anger.

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