Wednesday, June 24, 2009

'Dozens dead' in US drone strike

I have collect you some information regarding “At least 45 people have died in a missile strike by a US drone aircraft in a Taliban stronghold area of Pakistan , officials there have said.” From the source

The people killed in South Waziristan had been attending a funeral for others killed in a US drone strike earlier. Intelligence officials said at least 45 people had been killed and dozens more injured in the later strike, when two missiles were fired. But a local official told BBC News the death toll was more than 50. The region is a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.

Earlier on Tuesday, tribal leader Qari Zainuddin, who often criticised Mehsud, was shot dead by a gunman in north-western Pakistan . Earlier this month, Zainuddin criticised Mehsud after an attack on a mosque, which killed 33 people. The Pakistani army is preparing to launch an offensive against Taliban fighters under Mehsud's command, who are blamed for a number of deadly attacks.

But Zainuddin's killing is being seen as a setback for the government in its efforts to isolate Mehsud ahead of the security forces' next phase of their anti-Taliban offensive in the tribal areas bordering Afghanistan , says the BBC's Mike Wooldridge in Islamabad .

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