US drone strike 'kills Pakistan fighters'

Seven fighters killed after two missiles hit sprawling compound in town in North Waziristan, intelligence officials say.

    A US drone has fired two missiles at a sprawling compound in a northwestern tribal region of Pakistan, killing seven fighters, Pakistani intelligence officials have said.

    The strike on Wednesday took place in Datta Khel, a town in North Waziristan where the Pakistani army has been carrying out a major offensive against local and foreign fighters since June 15, the officials said.

    The identity of the dead men was not immediately known, and it was also not clear which group of fighters were the target.

    The intelligence officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, provided no further information.

    US drone strikes are a serious source of tension between Washington and Islamabad. Pakistan routinely denounces the strikes as a violation of the country's sovereignty.

    The Pakistani Taliban and their allies have been waging a bloody fight against the government for years that has killed tens of thousands of civilians and security personnel.

    The fighters oppose Pakistan's unpopular alliance with Washington.

    North Waziristan operation

    The US has been pushing Pakistan to launch a military operation against fighters in North Waziristan, who are also accused of attacking NATO and US forces in neighbouring Afghanistan, for years.

    Despite the international pressure, after coming into power last year Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif initiated peace talks with the Pakistan Taliban to end the violence.

    Sharif urged Washington to halt the drone strikes, at least during his peace talks.

    But the talks collapsed after fighters attacked the country's busiest airport in the southern port city of Karachi, prompting Sharif to order the operation in North Waziristan.

    Just days after the airport siege, Washington also resumed drone strikes in North Waziristan, after a nearly six-month lull.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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