Five killed in US drone strike in North Waziristan

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Peshawar, Jan.30 (ANI): US drones continue to strike militant hideouts in the tribal region along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, as five more extremists were reportedly killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan late Friday.

According to local government officials, the unmanned US Predator aircraft fired at least three missiles targeting a suspected militant compound in Muhammad Khel town of the province killing five extremists in the spot.

"Initial reports say at least five people were killed and there are fears the toll may go up," The Dawn quoted an official, as saying.

The target was considered to be a centre for local Taliban and was also a base for extremists belonging to the Haqqani network.

It may be noted that the Obama administration has been pressing Pakistan to initiate strong action against the Haqqani network, which it considers as one of the major anti-US groups working in the region.

The Haqqani network has been specifically targeting US and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

While Pakistan has raised objections over such strikes on a number of occasion, the Obama administration has made it clear that it would continue with its plan of targeting the extremists hiding inside Pakistan's territory along the Afghan border.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, recently, said that the missile strikes or any ground operations inside Pakistan would affect bilateral ties with the US.

The Obama administration has made it clear that it would not hesitate to carry out strikes further inside Pakistan's territory if it gets credible actionable intelligence.

Washington has also been pressing Islamabad to initiate more action against one of the top Afghan Al-Qaeda commanders, Sirajuddin Haqqani.

The frequency of the drone strikes has increased considerably this year (over 40 attacks), which the US believes has proved very effective in breaking the back of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

However, Pakistan has been continuously condemning the Predator hits, saying they have proven detrimental to the 'war on terror', and have subsequently added fuel to the massive anti-American sentiment in the region. (ANI)

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