9 Militants Killed In US Drone Attack In Pakistan

At least nine suspected Taliban militants were killed and several others injured in a missile strike by an unmanned U.S. aircraft in north-west Pakistan on Wednesday, reports quoting Pakistani security officials said.

The pre-dawn raid targeted a house used as a hideout south-east of Miranshah in North Waziristan, one of the seven tribal districts along the Afghan border where Taliban and al-Qaeda have bases.

Militants were removing the dead and around a dozen injured from the rubble of the house, destroyed by two missiles fired by the drone. Casualties reportedly include Afghan and Pakistani fighters from the Taliban and Haqqani networks.

U.S. drone attacks have killed hundreds of militants in northwest Pakistan, but the Obama administration halted the campaign temporarily in November after a NATO attack on a Pakistani border post that killed 24 Pak soldiers, undermining bilateral relations.

But the U.S. resumed its drone strikes on January 7, and President Barack Obama confirmed that the unmanned aircraft were used to target suspected militants in the country's tribal areas.

Amnesty International challenged the legal validity of the lethal use of drones in Pakistan, and called on the U.S. government to monitor civilian casualties inflicted by the attacks.

Obama said the drone strikes, being carried out by the CIA rather than the military, were a "targeted focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists."

He asserted that the strikes targeted "al-Qaeda suspects who are up in very tough terrain along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan."

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