WANA: Ten suspected local militants were killed when US drones struck a condolence meeting held for a slain militant commander and also a car in Wocha Dana village, Birmal subdivision, near Wana, South Waziristan Agency, on Sunday.
Tribal sources said the drone fired four missiles at a house and a car in Wocha Dana village, sited about 15 kilometres west of the regional headquarters Wana. The attack took place when tribesmen and militants had gathered at the house of senior Taliban commander, Malang, to offer condolences on the death of his brother.
Malang’s brother Rahman Ali was killed on Saturday in a drone attack in Dhog village near Wana, along with another militant whose identity could not be ascertained. However, militant circles said he was Urdu speaking.
The sources said that commander Malang came out of his home along with another local Taliban commander Ghulam Jan to see him off and they were walking towards a car when the drone fired two missiles at them.
Both the Taliban commanders were reported to have suffered critical injuries in the attack and were taken to a private hospital in Wana. Some tribal sources said both died of injuries before being shifted to hospital.
Taliban sources, however, claimed they were still alive and under treatment at a hospital. “They are in a serious condition and are being looked after by doctors,” a Taliban commander said on condition of anonymity.
Sources said five people were killed and seven others were injured in the attack.They said the drone fired two more missiles and hit a car in the same village, killing five people suspected to be militants. The identity of the slain persons could not be ascertained but tribal sources said all of them belonged to local Taliban commander Maulvi Nazeer’s group.
Mulla Nazeer in 2007 signed a peace accord with the government and is considered pro-government.It was the second attack by the CIA-operated spy planes in South Waziristan tribal region during the past two days.
After the neighbouring North Waziristan, where unmanned US spy planes frequently carry out missile strikes and have killed dozens of people recently, drones have now stepped up attacks in South Waziristan, inhabited by the Mahsud and Ahmadzai Wazir tribes.