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- Saturday, October 13, 2012 - From Print Edition


HANGU: The death toll from the US drone attack in Orakzai Agency rose to 26 as eight more critically injured militants succumbed to injuries, official sources said on Friday.


Eighteen militants were killed and 13 others were injured when a drone fired four missiles on the hideout of a militant commander, Mufti Shakirullah, in Bulandkhel area in the Orakzai Agency on Thursday.


The political administration officials claimed that all the dead were Afghan militants affiliated with Hafiz Gul Bahadur and the Haqqani network.The sources said 16 of the dead militants were laid to rest in Bulandkhel, four in Miranshah and six others in various areas in the tribal region.


Some reports claimed that Punjabi Taliban commander Umar Haqqani and Mufti Shakirullah were also killed in the strike. Umar Haqqani is stated to be an expert in making improvised explosive devices.


However, the spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Abdullah Khurasani, said neither Shakirullh nor Umar Haqqani was killed in the attack.He termed such reports baseless and added that the drone had not targetted militants’ centre, but a madrassah was hit. He claimed innocent seminary students were killed in the attack.