PESHAWAR – At least 13 militants, including some foreigners, were killed and 11 others were critically injured as three missiles, allegedly fired by the US forces, hit a house in Kaloshah area of Wana District in South Waziristan Agency on Thursday, eyewitnesses said.
Immediately after the attack, the militants encircled the area and local people were barred from entering the site.
However, the locals informed that three missiles fired from an unknown direction hit the house of Malik Khel Wazir at Shero Village, Kaloshah Azam Warsak area at midnight, killing at least 12 people, mostly foreigners, and injuring 11 others critically.
Several rooms of the house were completely destroyed in the attacks.
Exact identity and strength of the foreigners killed in the incident has not yet been determined, but the locals informed that they were either from Arab countries or Central Asia. An Al-Qaeda fugitive from Egypt is also reported to be among them.
However, the officials claimed that there was a seminary near the house, which was used by the militants as a shelter.
The killed persons were buried in the area, while the injured were admitted to local and Wana hospitals.
It is highly believed that the US forces, either from Afghanistan side or from Arabian Sea, fired the missiles.
It merits mentioning that this is the second attack of its kind in a month. Earlier, a missile hit a hideout at Mir Ali town, killing 12 people including top Al-Qaeda commander Abu Laith Al Laibi, on January 29.
AFP adds: A suspected US missile strike destroyed an Al-Qaeda and Taliban hideout in the country’s tribal area Thursday, killing 13 alleged militants including several Arabs, security officials said.
Residents of Azam Warsak village in South Waziristan told AFP that a house was blown up by a missile fired from a pilotless drone and the loud blast was heard kilometres away in the rugged valley.
US drones have launched several strikes on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border targeting members of Osama bin Laden’s network, although Islamabad never confirms such attacks due to issues of national sovereignty.
“A house used as a den by Al-Qaeda and Afghan Taliban militants was hit by a missile. Thirteen people were killed and around 10 were wounded,ï¿½? a senior Pakistani security official told AFP.
“There was no immediate information about the presence of any high-value target,ï¿½? the official said.
A security source based in Peshawar said the missile was fired by a US drone at about 2:00 am Thursday.
The militants were using the house as an “operational baseï¿½? for attacks on NATO-led and US troops in Afghanistan, as well as a meeting place for Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants, the official said.
A spokesman for the US-led coalition force based in Afghanistan said it had “no reportsï¿½? that either it or the separate NATO-headed force were involved in the strike.
Chief military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas told AFP that information from the area indicated that the deaths were caused by explosive material stored in a house.
“As per our information it was an explosion caused by explosive material in a house,ï¿½? Abbas said, adding that the blast reportedly killed 10 to 12 people.
All of their nationalities were not known, he said.