PESHAWAR/SADDA: Fourteen people, majority of them militants, were killed and several others were reportedly injured in a missile attack by a CIA-operated spy plane on a training centre of local Taliban in central Kurram region on Thursday evening.
“The drone fired two Hellfire missiles on a house where local militants were residing, killing 14 people and injuring several others,” said an official of the political administration, based in Sadda, the headquarters of Lower Kurram Agency, bordering Afghanistan’s Khost province.
Pleading anonymity, he said their reports suggested that majority of the victims were tribal, Afghan and foreign militants. Local tribesmen as well as sources close to the militants told this correspondent from the Kurram Agency on telephone that three US spy planes were seen flying over the region during the missile attack on Barjo village in the central Kurram tribal region.
The sources said the drones fired four Hellfire missiles on the village and destroyed a house where local militants were staying. Taliban sources, however, denied the presence of any important militant commander in the house during the missile attack. The missile attack reportedly caused damage to nearby houses but there were no details of any loss of life to the local tribesmen in the attack.
Tribal sources said dozens of militants cordoned off the area soon after the house was struck by four missiles and started retrieving the bodies of their slain colleagues. They said the bodies of majority of the victims were mutilated and were beyond recognition.
The sources said some of the militants sitting outside the house were critically injured. They said the injured were shifted to private health centres in Thall and Sadda towns.A militant commander, who called The News from Sadda in Lower Kurram, confirmed the missile strike on their position, but said only eight people were killed in the attack.
He said the drone fired four missiles on the house where their colleagues were staying. He denied the death of foreigners in the attack. It was the second missile attack by the US drones in Kurram tribal region. In an earlier attack by the US drones on February 16 this year, 30 people — majority of them militants — were killed and several others injured.
On that occasion, the drone targeted a state-run primary school at Surkh Pul. The Taliban had occupied the school and were using it for training purposes. Meanwhile, residents of the area said three US drones were still hovering over the tribal region.