U.S. Missile Strikes Target More Militants in Pakistan Tuesday
June 29, 2010Suspected U.S. missiles hit a house Tuesday in a Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border where the army has been battling Taliban fighters, intelligence officials said.
The two missiles struck the house, which was near Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal area. The house was known to be frequented by al-Qaida members, the intelligence officials said. They would not speculate on the exact identity of those killed.
The four officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media on the record.
Pakistan's army has waged a major ground offensive against the Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan. The operation appears to have cleared much of the rugged region of the militants, though many have simply fled to other parts of the semi-autonomous tribal belt. Still, violence continues in South Waziristan itself, indicating the Taliban remain there.
The U.S. has relied heavily on its covert missile campaign to take out al-Qaida and Taliban targets in the tribal areas. The vast majority of the missile strikes have focused on North Waziristan, home to several militant networks bent on attacking U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
Pakistan has denounced the missile campaign as a violation of its sovereignty. But it is widely believed to secretly assist in at least some of the strikes.
The U.S. rarely discusses the campaign publicly.
One of the most significant victories in the U.S. missile campaign came last August, when one of the drone-fired missiles that hit South Waziristan killed Baitullah Mehsud, chief of the Pakistani Taliban network.
(Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)