Drone strike kills 16 in Pakistan

Oct. 11, 2012 at 11:23 PM
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PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Missiles from a suspected drone Thursday struck a compound of a militant affiliated with the Haqqani group in Pakistan, killing 16 people, officials told CNN.

Six more wounded in the strike that targeted an area between Pakistan's tribal regions of Orakzai Agency and North Waziristan, CNN reported quoting a local official and a Pakistani military official.

The officials said the targeted compound belonged to a militant whose group is affiliated with the Haqqani network, which U.S. officials say is responsible for attacks on U.S. and NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan. It was not known if the militant was in the compound at the time of the strike.

Pakistan's Nation newspaper reported 18 suspected militants died in the drone strikes and 15 more were injured. The report said three homes in the vicinity also were destroyed.

The Nation quoted local people as saying the area was a center for militants.

In a similar suspected drone strike a day earlier in North Waziristan, five people died, Pakistani officials said.

The two strikes are the first since last weekend's anti-drone protest led by Pakistan's popular cricketer-turned-politician, who says the strikes are a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty.

On Thursday, Pakistan's Foreign Affairs Ministry lodged a protest with the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, saying the drone campaign is a clear violation of international law and is unacceptable to Pakistan, local media reports said.

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