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Pakistan: Suspected US Strike Kills 6

  • VOA News

Pakistani authorities say a suspected U.S. missile strike in the country's northwest Wednesday killed six alleged militants and wounded several other people.

Local officials say the pre-dawn attack by a suspected U.S. drone (remote-controlled unmanned spy plane) destroyed a militant hideout in Bannu district in North West Frontier Province. Most of those killed are said to be foreign fighters, including a senior al-Qaida operative identified as Abdullah Azam al-Saudi.

Pakistani authorities say he was a liaison between al-Qaida and the Taliban in Pakistan, and helped recruit fighters. Witnesses say that militants quickly removed bodies from the scene before local authorities arrived to investigate. This was the first alleged U.S. missile strike to have hit a target outside the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan. Islamabad has protested the U.S. attacks, saying they violate Pakistan's sovereignty and undermine public support for its counter-terrorism efforts.

Also Wednesday, on the outskirts of Islamabad, gunmen riding a motorbike fatally shot a former head of Pakistan's military commando operations and his driver. Major General Amir Faisal Alvi retired two years ago as chief commander of the elite Special Services Group. The motive behind the killing was not immediately clear.

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