US missile strike kills 12 in Pakistan’s tribal area

Islamabad accuses US of violating intl law


A missile strike by a suspected U.S. drone on Friday killed at least 12 Islamist militants in a
Pakistani tribal region known as a hub of al-Qaeda and Taliban rebels, security officials said Friday.

The attack targeted a remote village on the border between North and South Waziristan in an area known as a hotbed of al-Qaeda and Taliban support.

"Nine foreigners were among the killed. Missiles destroyed a house in North Waziristan tribal district," a top security official told AFP.

Pakistani officials normally use the term "foreigners" to describe al-Qaeda militants.

Despite protest by Islamabad, strikes by unmanned drones have continued to hit Pakistan's tribal region bordering Afghanistan.

The latest strike came a day after the Pakistani foreign ministry said the United States was violating international law by launching missile attacks on the region.

Frustrated by fighters from Pakistan fuelling the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and fearful of al-Qaeda regrouping, U.S. forces have intensified missile attacks by pilotless drones since early September.

A U.S. commando raid on Sept. 3 was the first time the lid has been raised on the use of ground forces on Pakistani territory and led to a diplomatic storm between the allies.

Pakistan has condemned the violations of its territory and argues that the attacks fuel anger towards the United States and undermines the government's own efforts to garner people's support for the campaign against militancy.

The latest attack coincided with a visit by the commander of NATO-led forces in Afghanistan to Islamabad.