MIRANSHAH: Fourteen people, some of them said to be suspected militants, were killed and a number of others injured in a US drone attack in Shawal Valley of the volatile North Waziristan tribal region on Monday night.
Official and tribal sources said drones fired eight missiles and pounded a house at Dre Nishtar village in mountainous Shawal Valley, about 90 kilometres southwest of Miranshah, the headquarters of North Waziristan Agency.
The death toll could rise as, according to sources, some of the injured were said to be in critical condition and medical facilities are not available in the remote forest-covered valley.
Tribal sources said the people had gathered for Iftar-dinner in the courtyard of the house when the drones attacked them. They said most of the victims died on the spot and their bodies were damaged beyond recognition.
According sources, five US spy planes were seen flying over Shawal Valley since Monday afternoon. Some reports said the drones first fired two missiles and hit a house in the valley and when other people gathered for rescue efforts almost half-an-hour later, the drones started firing missiles on them, killing most the rescuers.
There was, however, no independent confirmation of this piece of information.About the victims, there were conflicting reports with some saying they included militants while tribal sources insisted all of them were local residents.
Shawal valley is a remote part of North Waziristan near Afghanistan and some tribal families shift there during the summers.There were no means to ascertain the identity of the slain people. Militants do not allow journalists to take pictures of the spots of drone strikes and bodies of their people.