US drone, Pakistan air force strikes kill 19 militants

By REUTERS
July 14, 2013 19:44
1 minute read.

PESHAWAR, Pakistan - At least 19 suspected militants, including two foreigners, were killed in Pakistan's lawless tribal region overnight in a Pakistani military operation and a separate US drone strike, security officials said on Sunday.

Pakistan has seen a spate of militant attacks since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office last month, putting pressure on his team to act more aggressively to curb the insurgency.

Missile strikes by unmanned US aircraft have inflicted the most damage against Taliban fighters in the mountainous areas straddling the Afghan border in past years, sometimes with heavy civilian casualties.

In the third such attack since Sharif came to power, two suspected militants riding a motorcycle were struck by missiles in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan late on Saturday, one official said.

"The two men, probably Arab nationals, were passing through Mosaki village when the drone fired two missiles and hit them," said the official.

Their identities were not clear. Another security source said they were foreign militants of Turkmen origin.

It is difficult to check the impact of drone attacks on both militants and civilians since observers and journalists have almost no access to the areas where most of the strikes occur. Local security officials almost invariably speak off the record.


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