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Central & South Asia
'US drone' in deadly Pakistan raid
At least 10 people die in a suspected US missile attack on Pakistani Taliban leader.
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2009 04:17 GMT

At least 10 people have been killed in an air raid by a suspected US drone on a village in northwest Pakistan, local officials say.

Al Jazeera's Kamal Hyder, reporting from Islamabad, said that two missiles struck a compound in the Orakzai region west of Peshawar, on Wednesday.

The missiles are thought to have hit a compound that belongs to Baitullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistan Taliban.

Mehsud had claimed responsibility for Monday's attack on a police academy in Lahore in which at least 12 people where shot dead.

"Everybody here will now be bracing for some sort of reprisal," Hyder said.

"The attack hit a very strategic area because it is at the confluence of three tribal agencies: Khyber, Orakzai and Kurram.

"We are told that up to a dozen people have been wounded," he said.

Since last year, more than 30 US strikes have killed at least 300 people, including al-Qaeda members, according to reports from officials in Pakistan.

'Disturbing development'

"If you look at the events of the past few months, it seems now pretty clear that the Obama administration is hell-bent upon using the drone attacks as a way of achieving its objectives," Hyder said.

"This is indeed a disturbing development that will lead to an escalation of violence in the country"

Kamal Hyder, Islamabad correspondent

"There has been an escalation in those drone attacks much more than what was happening during the Bush administration ... that is of course leading to some trouble.

"[This is because] every time there is an attack within the tribal territory from drones, the fighters who are opposed to the Americans are then using the Pakistani forces, who they say are allied with the Americans, as legitimate targets.

"So this is indeed a disturbing development that will lead to an escalation of violence in the country and it also shows a clear policy of the Obama administration that it wants to continue with its drone attacks inside the Pakistani territory," he said.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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