PESHAWAR – At least 10 people were killed and several others sustained injuries when unmanned US predator drone targeted a mosque in Mir Ali area of North Waziristan Agency on Thursday.
Sources said that earlier the death toll was put at six which later rose to 10 with several others were still in critical condition. The mosque was completely destroyed as two missiles were fired on it. Identities of the victims in the strike are not known immediately as North Waziristan is a far-flung mountainous tribal area bordering Afghanistan.
This was the fourth strike since Parliament in March demanded an end to the drone hits and first attack after the Chicago Summit.
Forty-five US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan’s tribal belt in 2009, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011.
Agencies add: The attack, in the Khassokhel village near Mir Ali in the North Waziristan, was the second to take place in less than 24 hours.
Aimed at a suspected militant hideout, Uzbek insurgents made up the majority of the fatalities from the strike, which will surely work to further the growing governmental tensions between the United States and Pakistan.
Local tribesmen said 10 bodies were pulled from the debris and that efforts were underway to retrieve others.
“The drone fired two missiles and hit the village mosque where a number of people were offering Fajr (morning) prayers,” local tribal elder Roashan Din told NBC News.
“The drone fired two missiles and pounded a house,” a local administration official in Mir Ali said. “Four US spy planes are flying over the area.”
The official said the house was reportedly used by suspected foreign and Punjabi Taliban militants. Officials told Reuters that a pilotless aircraft fired two missiles, although the news agency described the targeted structure as a “compound.”
According to AFP, residents and local officials said the strike damaged a nearby mosque where three worshippers believed to be Central Asians were fatally wounded. “They were seriously wounded and died later in the hospital,” a security official said.
A neighbour, Mohammad Rafiq, told AFP the attack triggered a fire at the compound of the house where militants were exercising in the courtyard.