Islamabad:  At least five militants were killed today in a US drone attack in the restive North Waziristan tribal region where the Pakistan Army has launched an all-out offensive against the Taliban.

Six missiles were fired targeting a compound and a vehicle parked inside it in the Dargah Mandi area, a security official said.

Five militants were killed in the attack, the official said.

This was the third US drone attack after two successive strikes last week killed 16 militants, including 10 from the dreaded Haqqani network.

The Pakistan Army has launched ground and air offensive in the area known for having hideouts of the al-Qaeda linked militants. Armed forces have so has killed more than 200 militants in the operation.

The drone attacks come after the deadly attack at Karachi airport last week that left 39 people dead including 10 Taliban militants, reportedly Uzbek fighters.

The last drone attack before last week’s strikes occurred in Pakistan in December, 2013, killing three insurgents.

The drone strikes had been temporarily halted since then to provide the Pakistani government a chance to have talks with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) aimed at ending their seven-year insurgency.

However, US President Barack Obama last month made it clear that he will continue to authorise CIA-operated drone strikes and covert operations abroad to capture terrorists based on “actionable intelligence”.

Pakistan has criticised drone strikes as a violation of sovereignty and counter-productive to anti-terror efforts.

After last week’s strike, Islamabad issued a formal condemnation.

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Free Press Journal