Drone operations kill at least 7 along Af-Pak border -UPDATED

Officials in both Afghanistan and Pakistan report drone strike within their territory but cannot confirm whether strikes were separate

Drone operations kill at least 7 along Af-Pak border -UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

U.S. drone operations have killed at least seven suspected militants along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, according to officials from both countries. 

Reports from both countries indicated that seven militants were killed in drone strikes targeting strongholds of the Haqqani network of Taliban militants.

The Afghan intelligence service said the attack was in the Sabari area of the southwestern Khost province, while a senior Pakistani military official said, on condition of anonymity, that there as an attack directly across the border in the Dattakhel town of the North Waziristan tribal area. 

Both advance the number of seven casualties.

The Anadolu Agency was unable to verify whether these were separate drone strikes. The heavy presence of militant outfits and the mountainous terrain mean that the border, which Afghanistan does not officially accept, is porous and unstable. 

Abdul Haseeb Sediqi, spokesman for the intelligence service department, told AA that a NATO strike targeted a vehicle carrying militants in Khost province. 

The Pakistani official said that a U.S. predator drone fired at a compound in North Waziristan. 

Both areas are considered strongholds of the Haqqani network, which has been blamed for many deadly attacks on local and international security forces in Afghanistan. 

The strike comes as Pakistan seeks to intensify a crackdown on Taliban who massacred 132 school children last month, the worst single militant attack in the country's history.

Legislators are due to vote on Tuesday on a constitutional amendment allowing militant suspects to be tried by military courts. Many say the country's civilian courts are too intimidated and corrupt to properly try militants.

Pakistan often publicly denounces drone strikes as an infringement of its sovereignty. Drone strikes stopped for the first six months of 2014 while Pakistan pursued peace talks with the Taliban, but resumed days before Pakistan's latest anti-Taliban offensive started last June.

5 Afghan soldiers killed by IED

At least five Afghan National Army soldiers and 36 Taliban militants have been killed in the past 24 hours, according to Afghanistan's Defense Ministry. 

The soldiers died in a blast caused by an improvised explosive device, the ministry said. 

On Friday, gunships of NATO-led International Security Forces killed 18 militants, believed to be members of the Haqqani network, when it attacked their convoy in the province of Paktika.

 

Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2015, 13:19
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