x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Missile strike kills six in Pakistan

The suspected US attack came hours after a top military officer told Pakistani leaders that America respects its sovereignty.

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan // A suspected US missile strike hit a compound used by militants near the Afghan border today, killing at least six people, Pakistani intelligence officials said. The reported attack came hours after a top US military officer told Pakistani leaders that America respects Pakistan's sovereignty amid a mounting furor over cross-border strikes. Two intelligence officials said that several missiles hit a compound in South Waziristan early this evening. The target was a base used by Taliban militants and Hezb-i-Islami, another group fighting US and government troops in neighbouring Afghanistan, the officials said. They said informants in the area had reported that six people were dead and three more injured. Their identities were not immediately clear.

The officials said an unmanned drone of the type used by the CIA and US forces in Afghanistan was heard in the area shortly before the attack. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak openly to the media. Officials at the US Embassy in Islamabad could not be reached immediately for comment. Maj Murad Khan, a spokesman for the Pakistan army, said it was looking into the incident.

* AP