Officials: Drone kills Pakistani Taliban leaderNovember 1, 2013 @ 9:47 am
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) - Intelligence officials say the leader of the Pakistani Taliban was one of three people killed in a suspected U.S. drone strike.
The officials say agents sent to the site of the attack in the North Waziristan tribal area Friday confirmed the death of the militant leader, Hakimullah Mehsud.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
A suspected U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on a village known to harbor militants killed at least three people Friday, intelligence officials said, as popular anger boils in the country over the bombings.
The missile strike hit the village of Dande Derpa Khel in North Waziristan, two intelligence officials told The Associated Press. They said the strike, near the town of Miran Shah, hit a house.
It wasn't immediately clear who was killed in the attack or the reason why the U.S. would strike that area. The officials said the village is the stronghold of the Haqqani network, which routinely targets NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.
The missiles strike is the second after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's visit to the U.S. last month where he pressed for stopping of the drone strikes. Most Pakistanis consider the drone strikes to be a violation of the country's sovereignty.
A hard-line religious group protested the strikes Friday in Islamabad and Lahore.
U.S. officials have suggested in the past that the Pakistan government does privately support some of the strikes, which hit militants in tribal regions its army has trouble controlling. The Pakistani government also said this week that 3 percent of 2,227 people killed in U.S. drone strikes since 2008 were civilians, a surprisingly low figure that sparked criticism from groups that have investigated deaths from the attacks.
The strikes also come as Pakistan says its started talks with the country's domestic arm of the Taliban. The leader of one of the country's main opposition parties threatened Thursday to cut off NATO supplies moving through Pakistan if the U.S. launches any drone strikes during the talks.
Also Friday, motorcycle-riding gunmen attacked a truck carrying mineworkers from a Shiite Hazara community in the country's southwest, killing six workers and injuring the driver, a government official said.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in the Machh district of southwestern Baluchistan province. An al-Qaida-linked militant group known as Lashker-e-Jhangvi has claimed past attacks on the Shiite Hazara community.
Associated Press writer Abdul Sattar in Quetta, Pakistan, contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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