Suspected US missiles kill militants in Pakistan

Declan Walsh in Islamabad

The Guardian, Monday March 17, 2008

A salvo of suspected American missiles killed at least 20 people, including several al-Qaida militants, in Pakistan’s tribal areas yesterday, a day after a restaurant bombing in the capital, Islamabad, that wounded US and British officials. The bloody weekend underscored the extremist threat facing the new coalition government of erstwhile rivals Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari, which is due to be formed after parliament is sworn in today.

Tribesmen near Wana, the main town in South Waziristan, reported seeing up to seven missiles fired at two houses. Earlier they heard a buzzing noise – the signature sound of US Predator drones, which have carried out at least two attacks on suspected al-Qaida hideouts in the tribal areas this year.

The Pakistan army confirmed five or six explosions, but could not identify the source. The US and Pakistan have a policy of not officially recognising politically inflammatory Predator strikes.

Continued . . .

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