Suspected US drone strike targets Pak Taliban militants: Sources

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DERA ISMAIL KHAN (Pakistan): A suspected US drone strike killed several Pakistani Taliban militants in North Waziristan close to the Afghanistan border, one militant commander and intelligence sources said on Thursday, in a rare strike on Pakistani soil.

If confirmed, the air strike, which happened on Wednesday, would only be the second drone attack inside the nuclear-armed nation since US President Donald Trump took office in January.

Abdullah Wazirstani, spokesman for North Waziristan Taliban, a group linked to the Pakistani Taliban, said the strike killed three civilian “labourers” and seven militants from the Pakistani Taliban, which is also known as TTP.

Malik Waheedullah, a local tribal leader, told Reuters he saw two missiles strike a mountain home which caught fire. “I drove away as fast as I could,” he said.

One Pakistani intelligence official and government source said they believed the strike to be a US drone attack.

US officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

North Waziristan was a Taliban stronghold until 2014, when Pakistan’s military launched a major offensive against the group and pushed many of its fighters across the border into Afghanistan.
Sources from the TTP identified one of the dead militants as Abdur Rahman, a senior commander of the Pakistani Taliban.

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