U.S. drones kill 10 militants in northwest Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — American drones fired a flurry of missiles in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan Sunday, killing a total of 10 suspected militants, Pakistani officials said.

In the first strike, missiles fired from unmanned American spy planes hit two vehicles near the Afghan border, killing at least seven militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The strike came in the Mana area of North Waziristan, the officials added.

The officials say the area is dominated by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a commander whose forces often strike U.S. troops in Afghanistan, but they did not know whether his men were the targets of Sundays’ strike. A U.S. drone strike Saturday also in North Waziristan killed five Gul Bahadur allies.

About 10 hours later on Sunday, two missiles destroyed a home also in the Mana area, killing three militants, the officials said.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

The drone program is hotly contested in Pakistan.

Most Pakistanis feel the strikes violate the country’s sovereignty and kill innocent civilians. The U.S. maintains they are directed against militants and necessary to combat groups like al-Qaida.

North Waziristan is one of the last tribal areas in northwestern Pakistan, where the military has yet to launch an operation to root out militants. The area has become a safe haven for fighters who use it as a base from which to attack American and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

The U.S. has urged Pakistan repeatedly to conduct a military operation there, and earlier this week U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told The Associated Press that Pakistan was preparing an operation targeting the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan.

Pakistan has yet to confirm this. The country has been reluctant to undertake an offensive there, saying its military is already overtaxed by fighting in other tribal areas and parts of Pakistan. But many in the U.S. believe Pakistan does not want to upset the many militant groups there that could be useful allies in Afghanistan after foreign forces leave.

More in Local News

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Jogger unharmed after fending off attacker in Edmonds

Police released video of a man they believe to be the attacker.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Three teens arrested for Marysville school vandalism

Windows were broken and a trash bin was on fire Sunday night at a Marysville middle school.

Langley mayor threatens newspaper with lawsuit

The mayor threatened to sue the paper over claims he withheld public records disclosure information.

Divers called to recover body after train hits pedestrian

The accident was reported by a BNSF crew near Woods Creek in Monroe.

Marysville police send abandoned, unclaimed bikes to Zambia

“Out where we are, a bicycle is upward mobility,” said Kelly Huckaby, a missionary in Africa.

Most Read