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US drones kill 43 militants in Pakistan

Last updated on: June 18, 2009 19:18 IST

US Predator drones today struck Taliban stronghold of Waziristan in Pakistan's troubled northwest killing nine militants, including five foreigners. The toll is 43 now.

American drones fired four missiles hitting a Taliban training centre run by top commander Malang Wazir, close to the villages of Gharmalai and Nandaran, near the main city of Wana killing nine terrorists, TV channels quoted top local officials as saying.

The American drone attack -- the second in last three days--came as Pakistani Army continued to mass troops and armour for an offensive targeted against Tehrik-e-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, expected to be unleashed any time.

Among those killed were four Taliban fighters and five foreigners, two Arabs and three from Turkmenistan. But it was not immediately known whether Malang who is a key Taliban commander was among the victims, TV channels quoted top local officials as saying.

A top US official was quoted last week in Washington as saying that any operation by Pakistan in Waziristan would work best with "pressure mounted from both sides," which would leave little space for top Taliban and al Qaeda commanders to escape.


Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad
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