Fri, May 16, 2008 - Page 5 News List

Pakistani militants accuse Washington of missile attack


Pakistani militants yesterday accused the US of carrying out a missile strike in the country’s lawless tribal region and vowed to avenge the attack, which killed several people.

Maulvi Omar, spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said a house belonging to a local tribesman was hit on Wednesday by a guided missile fired from a US drone.

It more than 10 people dead, including three children, and six others wounded, he said in phone calls to reporters from an undisclosed location. Omar said there were no Taliban leaders in the targeted area.

On Wednesday, villager Ibrahim Khan said at least 15 people were killed. He said local Taliban leaders had gathered for a feast at the targeted house. He reported secondary explosions, suggesting weapons had been stored inside.

Around 1,000 mourners buried seven people killed in the raid yesterday.

The attack came as Taliban in the tribal region negotiate a deal with the new government which came to power after the defeat of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s supporters in February elections.

“The missile attack was an attempt to sabotage the talks,” Omar said. “Americans do not want peace in the region.”

He added that “talks would continue despite the missile attack,” but warned the Taliban would avenge the killings.

A Pakistani security official previously said two missiles apparently fired from a drone hit a house used by suspected militants linked to al-Qaeda.

“We have reports that the missile strike killed at least 12 militants including some foreigners,” the official, who declined to be identified, said late on Wednesday.

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