Pakistani officials: US missiles kill 54 in NW

December 17, 2010 20:33

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Three American missile attacks killed 54 alleged militants Friday close to the Afghan border, an unusually high number of victims that included commanders of a Taliban-allied group that were holding a meeting, Pakistani officials said.

The attacks took place in the Khyber tribal region, which has been rarely struck by American missiles before over the last three years. That could indicate a possible expansion of the CIA-led covert campaign of drone strikes inside Pakistani territory.The Obama administration has intensified missile attacks in northwest Pakistan since taking office, desperate to weaken insurgent networks there that US officials say are behind much of the violence against US troops just across the frontier in Afghanistan.

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