Officials: U.S. Drone Strike Kills 18 in Pakistan
[An Nahar] A U.S. drone attack Thursday killed 18 snuffies -- mostly Afghans -- at a turban compound in Pakistain's tribal region near the northwestern border with Afghanistan, officials said.
It was the second U.S. missile strike reported in as many days in the northwest, considered a stronghold of the Taliban and al-Qaeda.
The attack was the deadliest since similar strike in August last year killed 21 Taliban fighters in the restive tribal region.
The attack comes as Pakistain is in shock over the Taliban's attempted liquidation of a 14-year-old child rights activist.
"U.S. drones fired four missiles on a turban compound and initial reports say 11 Death Eaters have died," local administration chief Khushal Khan told AFP in Orakzai district. He said most of the dead were Afghans.
His deputy Rafiq Mohmand later put the toll at 18 dead.
"Several Death Eaters were maimed who died later and the new corpse count is 18," Mohmand told AFP.
A security official confirmed the attack and the corpse count.
The compound was located in the Baland Khel area on the border between Orakzai and North Wazoo, a Pak intelligence official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Militants had sealed off the flattened building and were recovering bodies, he said.
The building belonged to Maulvi Shakirullah, a commander in the forces of Pak warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
Bahadur is an ally of the al-Qaeda-linked Haqqani network blamed by the Americans for a string of high-profile attacks in Afghanistan.
On Wednesday a U.S. drone strike targeting another compound in North Waziristan killed five fighters, according to Pak officials.
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