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US drone strike kills 16 in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — At least 16 people were killed and five others wounded when a US drone strike hit a suspected Haqqani militant compound in northwestern Pakistan late Tuesday, according to government and intelligence officials.

The strike was the deadliest since Pakistan’s new prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, took power a month ago, demanding an end to the drone attacks. A local official said the house was used by the militants for the past few months.

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“At least four missiles were fired from two drones at a house of tribesmen in Sarai Darpa Khel village last night,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A local militant source said that the militants who were killed were from the Haqqani network, a militant group that is responsible for orchestrating and executing attacks against US and Afghan forces in Afghanistan and is believed to be active in the region.

The attack took place in Sarai Darpa Khel, in North Waziristan, near the border with Afghanistan and just southwest of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.

According to residents, after the attack the site was quickly cordoned off by Taliban insurgents to recover the bodies from the debris of the house that was attacked.

“I was sleeping on the roof of my shop as the drones were hovering in the sky,” said Qayyum Khan. “I woke up when I heard a huge bang. I saw smoke coming out of a house approximately at a distance of three kilometers.”

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