U.S. Drone Strike Kills 10 Militants in Northwest Pakistan

A U.S. drone attack has killed at least 10 militants in a restive northwestern Pakistani tribal area, security officials said.

The missiles struck a militant compound in the Shawal area of the troubled North Waziristan tribal district on the Afghan border.

"U.S. drones fired up to six missiles into a militant compound. The death toll in the drone attack has risen to 10 and two others were wounded," a security official told Agence France Presse.

"The bodies had been charred," he added.

The local intelligence officials confirmed the attack and casualties.

"It was not immediately clear if any important militant had been killed in the attack. We are trying to ascertain the identities," the official said.

The targeted compound was in Dray Nashtar village, some 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan which is known as a hotbed of Taliban militants.

Local residents said militants cordoned the area around the compound and were taking out bodies and wounded colleagues.

"A fire erupted in the compound after some four to six missiles hit it," a local tribesman told AFP, requesting anonymity as he feared militants.

Also Tuesday, gunmen attacked container trucks carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, killing a driver.

The attack took place near the market in Jamrud town on the outskirts of Peshawar, the main city in the troubled northwest, local administration official Bakhtiar Khan said.

"Two armed men riding on a motorbike opened fire on a container carrying supplies for NATO troops across the border and killed its driver," Khan told AFP, adding that the driver's helper was seriously wounded.

Washington considers Pakistan's semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt the main hub of Taliban and al-Qaida militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

In a drone attack at the start of July, six militants were also killed and an attack on June 4 killed 15 militants, including senior al-Qaida figure Abu Yahya al-Libi.

There has been a dramatic increase in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan since May when a NATO summit in Chicago could not strike a deal to end a six-month blockade on NATO supplies crossing into Afghanistan.

On July 3 however, Islamabad agreed to end the blockade after the United States said sorry for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in botched air strikes last November.

Pakistan says American raids are a violation of sovereignty and fan anti-U.S. sentiment, while U.S. officials are understood to believe the attacks too important to give up.

Source: Agence France Presse

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