Suspected US missiles killed seven people in a Pakistani Taliban stronghold Sunday, officials said, while an attack on a military convoy and a cleric's two-week deadline for the creation of Islamic courts rattled peace talks with militants elsewhere in the country's northwest.
The missile strike underscored the Obama administration's unwillingness to abandon a Bush-era tactic said to have killed several key al-Qaeda figures, despite persistent Pakistani protests. The Muslim nation has used both peace pacts and military offensives to deal with insurgents along its border with Afghanistan, and it warns that the missile attacks dent civilian support for its actions.
The missiles landed in Murghiban village in the South Waziristan tribal region and also wounded three people, two Pakistani intelligence officials said. At least four of the dead were believed to be foreign militants, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
They said drones believed to be used by the US were seen in the air ahead of the strike and that Taliban fighters surrounded the damaged stronghold afterward. The compound was allegedly a militant training facility, the officials said, citing field informants.