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US Drone Missile Strike Kills Five in Pakistan

AFP Fri, Jun 3, 2011

A US missile strike targeting a militant compound killed five rebels in Pakistan's tribal badlands near the Afghan border on Friday, security officials said.

The strike took place in Ghwakhwa area, 10 kilometres (six miles) west of Wana, the main town of South Waziristan tribal region, where the military launched an operation two years ago.

"A US drone fired three missiles on a militant compound, killing five rebels," a senior security official in the area told AFP.

Another security official confirmed the strike and casualties but said the "identities of those killed in the attack were not immediately known".

The Pakistani parliament has called for an end to US drone strikes and said there must be no repeat of the operation that killed bin Laden, despite the fact that President Barack Obama has reserved the right to act again.

The raid also rocked Pakistan's seemingly powerful security establishment, with its intelligence services and military widely accused of incompetence or complicity over the presence of bin Laden close to a military academy.

The drone strikes are hugely unpopular among the general public, who are deeply opposed to the government's alliance with Washington, and inflame anti-US feeling, which has heightened further after the bin Laden raid.

The United States does not confirm drone attacks, but its military and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy them in the region.

Missile attacks doubled in the area last year, with more than 100 drone strikes killing over 670 people in 2010, compared with 45 strikes that killed 420 in 2009, according to an AFP tally.

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