Pakistani intelligence officials say a suspected missile strike from a U.S. drone (unmanned aircraft) has killed at least four militants in the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
The officials say the missile was fired early Monday at a vehicle in a
village near the region's main town of Miran Shah. It is believed that
local and foreign militants with ties to the Taliban and al-Qaida were
in that targeted vehicle.
Pakistani officials say U.S. unmanned aircraft are believed to have
fired more than 40 missiles at suspected al-Qaida and Taliban
strongholds in northwest Pakistan in recent months.
Pakistan has publicly criticized the missile strikes as counterproductive and a violation of its sovereignty.
Also Monday, the Pakistani military said 16 militants, including two
key Taliban commanders, were killed in clashes in the northwestern Swat
Valley. The military says more than 150 suspected fighters have
surrendered to military authorities since Sunday.
Former security chief of Pakistan's tribal regions, Mahmood Shah, says
the military is better placed today to extend the Swat anti-insurgency
offensive into other Taliban strongholds, such as the Waziristan region.