Militants killed in drone strikes

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, June 6 (UPI) -- Three suspected U.S. drone strikes Monday in Pakistan's South Waziristan region killed up to 21 militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

A Voice of America report said at least 17 militants died. A report from CNN put the toll at 21. Both quoted intelligence officials.


The strikes occurred near Wana, the major city in the region close to the border with Afghanistan.

Witnesses told GEO-TV seven civilians were among those those killed.

Two alleged hideouts in the region were targeted.

The latest strikes follow a similar one during the weekend, also in South Waziristan, which local authorities said killed senior al-Qaida leader Ilyas Kashmiri and eight other militants.

The Harakat-ul-Jihad al-Islami group, or Huji, led by Kashmiri, said he had died. The United States has not confirmed his death.

If confirmed, Kashmiri's death would be the second major blow to al-Qaida in a month. Its leader, Osama bin Laden, who had been the world's most wanted terrorist, was killed May 2 by a U.S. SEALs team during a raid on his compound in Pakistan.

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