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- Saturday, March 12, 2011 - From Print Edition


MIRAMSHAH/PESHAWAR: Fourteen people, including suspected militants, were killed in two separate missile attacks by the US drones on vehicles in Mir Ali Subdivision in North Waziristan Agency on Friday. Tribal sources said eight US spy planes were seen flying over the town before the missile strikes.


In the first attack, the drones fired four missiles and hit a car in Ghureeski village close to Spinwam town near the border with Afghanistan’s Khost province. The four men seated in the white car were killed on the spot and their bodies mutilated beyond recognition. The villagers said bodies of the slain men were scattered all over the place. Rescuers collected pieces of flesh and bones that were stuffed in bags and taken for burial.


There were reports that the slain men were tribal militants reportedly belonging to the adjoining South Waziristan tribal region. Almost 20 minutes after the first attack, the CIA-operated drones carried out another attack in which a double-cabin pickup truck was targeted near


Jailar Village on Khaisur Road in Mir Ali subdivision. The drones, the villagers said, fired 10 missiles on the speedy pickup truck and finally hit it. The vehicle was smashed and split into pieces. The attackers didn’t want to take chances and that was the reason 10 missiles were fired at just one moving target.


It was not possible for the villagers to get close to the destroyed vehicle for about an hour as the drones were still hovering over the town. Later, when the spy planes disappeared for a while, the tribesmen rushed to the spot and retrieved 10 bodies from the wreckage of the vehicle.


Besides Mir Ali, which has proved to be the prime target of unmanned US aircraft in the past, eight spy planes were also seen flying over Miramshah, the main administrative town in North Waziristan, on Friday.


Tribesmen from the remote Dattakhel area near the Afghan border also reported seeing seven US spy planes flying over their villages. The US has once again stepped up the missile strikes in both North and South Waziristan tribal regions where the government, after a series of military operations, has finally signed peace accords with the local tribes and tribal militants.