ISLAMABAD, June 12 – At least 16 suspected militants were killed in two separate U.S. drone strikes launched in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, reported local media.
Local Urdu TV channel Dunya said that the first strike came at about 8:40 p.m. local time on Wednesday night when U.S. unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at a house suspected of being a militant hideout in Dargah Mandi Khel, a village near Miranshah, capital town of North Waziristan, a restive tribal area bordering Afghanistan.
At least six suspected militants were killed in the strike, said the report quoting unidentified sources. Hours later, at about 3 a.m. local time on Thursday morning, five U.S. drones fired eight missiles at four living compounds and a vehicle in Dande Darpa Khel, another village near Miranshah, leaving at least ten suspected militants killed, according to the report.
The identities of the killed are known at this point. The drone strike on Wednesday night is the first of its kind in Pakistan since December 25, 2013, marking a resumption of such strikes in the country after a nearly-six-month lull.
The strike came just a day after a top cabinet meeting chaired by the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had decided to fight back against terrorists as the months-long efforts made by the Pakistani government to engage Pakistan Taliban in peace talks have ended in vain. Late on Sunday night, ten heavily armed militants stormed the terminal one of Jinnah International Airport in Karachi, the largest civil airport in the country, causing a huge loss of lives and property.
During the five-hour-long exchange of firing between the militants and the security forces, 40 people, including all the ten attackers, were killed and over 20 others injured. Several planes were also damaged in the attack. The airport was closed for more than 15 hours with 20 flights including seven international flights disrupted. Both Pakistan Taliban and a Uzbek militant group have later claimed responsibility for the attack.
(Copyright @ (Xinhua) /RSS)