US drones kill 10 alleged militants in Pakistan

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 17, 2010 08:10 hrs

Islamabad, Dec 17 (DPA) At least 10 suspected militants were killed Friday and several more injured in two separate strikes by US pilotless aircraft in Pakistan's restive tribal region along the Afghan border, security officials said.

The drone strikes took place in the Tirah and Lakai valleys of Khyber district, one of the tribal districts where Taliban and Al Qaeda operatives are believed to have hideouts.

'In the first strike, a US drone fired two missiles into a compound in Sipah village of Tirah and killed five people. Seven more people were wounded,' said an intelligence official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

'Around one hour later another drone attack took place in Nargosa area of Lakai valley. Five more militants were killed and several injured,' the security official said.

'Our informants are saying that both compounds belonged to the militant group of Lashkar-e-Islam,' he said. 'One important commander is also said to be among those killed. We are trying to confirm the name'

Lashkar-e-Islam is allied with Taliban militants and is suspected of attacks on NATO supply convoys passing through the Khyber district into Afghanistan.

It was the third drone attack in 24 hours. On Thursday a US drone fired a missile into a vehicle in the same district and killed all seven people in it.

The US has stepped up drone attacks against Islamist rebels in the tribal region, especially in North Waziristan district where Afghan warlord Jalauddin Haqqani is alleged to have bases for cross-border raids on NATO troops in Afghanistan.