US drone strike kills 3 in Pakistan


Anti-war protesters displays an effigy of an attack drone as they take part in a demonstration in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on Mar. 19, 2011.


Jewel Samad

Pakistan intelligence officials said a US drone attack killed at least three militants early Saturday morning in North Waziristan.

The drone fired two missiles at a vehicle in the Datta Khel area, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal areas in northwestern Pakistan, top local government officer Siraj Ahmed said, according to CNN. Officials said the vehicle was being used by local Taliban leaders from the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group. Two militants were also injured in the attack, which took place when the vehicle was on its way to a village near the Afghanistan border.

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"The identity of the militants was immediately unclear but this area is mostly occupied by members of the militant commander Gul Bahadur's group," a security official in Peshawar told Agence France-Presse.

The drone strike comes as Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar visits Washington to discuss a wide range of issues, reported Voice of America. Drone strikes are a contentious issue between the US and Pakistan, and Islamabad says they violate its sovereignty. The US says they are an important tool in the effort to defeat al Qaeda.