Pakistani intelligence officials say at least 13 people have been killed in two suspected U.S. drone (remote-controlled aircraft) strikes near the country's border with Afghanistan.
Officials say two missiles hit a suspected militant compound in the
tribal region of North Waziristan Wednesday, killing seven people.
A short time later, officials say, six people were killed in a second
strike on the compound as people tried to retrieve bodies and survivors
from under rubble caused by the initial attack. Militants in the tribal
areas frequently cordon-off missile strike targets to search for
North Waziristan is considered a stronghold of the Taliban-allied
Haqqani network in Afghanistan and a haven for al-Qaida fighters.
Meanwhile, Pakistani police say a suicide bomber killed at least four
soldiers and wounded nearly a dozen others in the part of Kashmir
administered by Pakistan.
The regional police chief (Javed Iqbal) says the explosion
took place at an army barracks near the town of Rawalakot Wednesday.
Police say the attacker detonated his explosives when guards stopped
him at the gates to the barracks.
Such violence is rare in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, although just
over a week ago a suicide bomber struck a Shi'ite mosque in the
regional capital Muzaffarabad, killing at least 10 people.
A ruling party leader in Kashmir (Muslim Conference leader Sardar Attique Khan) says
the region may be experiencing more violence because militants may have
shifted to the area to escape Pakistani army offensives elsewhere.
Militant attacks in Pakistan have killed hundreds of people since the
army began an offensive to eliminate Taliban forces in South Waziristan
The top elected official in Pakistani Kashmir, Raja Farook Haider,
condemned the barracks bombing and said attacks on Pakistani troops
will not be tolerated. U.S. Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson also
condemned the bombing.
Both India and Pakistan claim sovereignty over all of Kashmir, which is
divided between the two countries along a border known as the Line of
Control. Islamist militants in Indian Kashmir have been fighting since
1989 for independence from India or a merger with Pakistan.
India and Pakistan have also fought two wars over the region.