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July 11, 2014

US drone kills six militants in NWA

World

AFP
July 11, 2014

MIRANSHAH: At a time when security forces are carrying out a major military operation against the local and foreign militants in North Waziristan, a US drone conducted a missile strike and reportedly killed six suspected militants in the Dattakhel area of the troubled tribal region on Thursday.
Tribal sources said the drone fired four missiles and struck a mud-house and a car parked inside the house in the Doga Madakhel village, 50 kilometres west of North Waziristan’s headquarters of Miranshah.
“It was around 5:00am when heavy explosions were heard in the Doga Madakhel village. After the blast, the Taliban militants were seen running towards the village and surrounded the area after reaching there,” a local tribesman said on phone.
He said he came to know later that six bodies were pulled out of the house that had collapsed in the missile strike. He said the slain men seemed to be foreign militants as the Taliban secretly laid them to rest and didn’t announce the time of the funeral on loudspeakers, which they usually do when local militants are killed in drone strikes. He said a car parked inside the house was also damaged in the attack.
A security official based in Miranshah confirmed that it was a drone attack.He said it was the first US drone strike in North Waziristan after the military launched the offensive against local and foreign militants on June 15. The operation displaced more than 800,000 people.
“The drone fired four missiles and hit a mud-built house in the Doga Madakhel village of Dattakhel Subdivision. Six people, all believed to be militants, were killed in the drone attack,” the security official said.
Pleading anonymity, he said majority of the residents in North Waziristan had fled their homes and villages after the government started the military operation.However, he said that residents and militants were still living in the Dattakhel area, near the Afghan border, which is considered a stronghold of North

Waziristan Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who isn’t part of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
He had signed a peace accord with the government in 2006-07 and is known to be pro-government.Pakistani forces haven’t entered Dattakhel yet, though they are using fighter jets to hit suspected hideouts of the militants there.
Gul Bahadur announced a ceasefire till August 10 when the military operation was launched and directed his fighters not to attack the soldiers.Military authorities claimed to have killed 400 militants, including local and foreign fighters, during the three weeks of the operation in North Waziristan. They said 80 percent area of Miranshah had been cleared of the militants.
The government didn’t carry out a military operation in Razmak, Garyoom, Dossali, Shawa and Spinwam subdivisions of North Waziristan. This forms about 40 percent of North Waziristan. The tribal people there were exempted from vacating their villages in return for a promise not to let the militants hide in their areas.