Officials say at least seventeen killed by suspected US drones in Pakistan

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

According to reports from officials, at least sixteen militants were killed in Pakistan earlier today when suspected US drone attacks struck a village in the North Waziristan region, along the border with Afghanistan.

The drones hit suspected fighters' hideouts, as well as a training centre, authorities said. According to the Al Jazeera news agency, local residents were recovering dead bodies and wounded people out of the rubble.

"Up to eight US drones fired some 18 missiles at multiple militant targets in Dattakhel village," commented a police official to the Agence France-Presse news agency; "at least 16 militants were killed in the missile strikes."

Pakistan's government condemns the drone strikes, which have been increasingly frequent recently; however, US authorities claim the attacks have killed several high-ranking members of rebel groups, and are essential to protect soldiers in neighbouring Afghanistan.

The US government does not officially confirm the strikes; however, their troops in Afghanistan are the only known group in the area that uses unmanned drones that can fire missiles.