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- Monday, September 01, 2008 - From Print Edition


MIRAMSHAH: Eight persons, including six suspected Arab nationals, were killed and as many seriously injured in another missile attack by a US Predator in Ghundai Kalley near Tapi in North Waziristan Agency on Sunday.


Residents from Tapi village told 'The News' that a spy plane was seen flying over the village during the attack. "The plane fired two Hellfire missiles on a house where some guests were staying," the residents said, adding, two more houses were also damaged in the air strike.


Besides six suspected Arab nationals, the villagers said two locals, including a woman and her minor daughter, were also killed in the attack. The house of a schoolteacher, Raees Khan, was badly damaged and the woman and the girl who died were stated to be his wife and daughter.


The residents said some guests, a term generally used for foreign nationals affiliated with al-Qaeda operatives, were staying in the village but they did not know about their nationality and rank in the terror network.


Ghundai Kalley, which is situated on Bannu-Miramshah Road, is about nine kilometres east of Miramshah. According to the residents, dozens of militants rushed to the spot in a car and pick-up trucks and started retrieving the bodies and injured people from the rubbles of destroyed houses. The injured were shifted to private health facilities in Miramshah as sources in the Agency Headquarters Hospital, Miramshah, said they did not receive any of injured of the missile attack.


"It was around 2:00 pm and we were praying in a mosque when the entire area was shaken by a huge blast," said Muhammad Bahadur, a resident of Miramshah village. People of the restive North Waziristan Agency complained that it had become a routine practice for US spy planes to fly over the tribal region round-the-clock.


Earlier, on Sunday morning, some militants in Miramshah village near Tochi River fired on a drone flying over their village. However, as usual they could not succeed in shooting it down. Interestingly, the militants dispersed immediately when some senior militants arrived and told them that by firing on the plane they were disclosing their position to the drone.


While filing this report, tribal sources reported that another heavy explosion was heard in the area. "There is another heavy explosion heard right now. It seems to be another missile attack. Since it is night and all telephone lines are out of order due to power suspension for the past two days in the area, therefore, the situation would become clear in the morning," a government official in Miramshah told The News.


AFP adds: Taliban militants shot dead a security guard of a local intelligence office, accusing him of spying on them, officials said.


The body of Sher Baz Khan, 55, who was kidnapped on Friday, was found on Sunday morning by the residents near Miramshah, a local government official told AFP. "Sher Baz was shot and then one of his hand was chopped and a note found on his body said he was spying on Taliban activities, that's why he was killed," the official said.