US 'launched air strike on militants in Pakistan'
• Missiles attack killed 12 people, say intelligence officials
• Taliban commander believed to be target of drones
* Matthew Weaver and agencies
* guardian.co.uk, Friday November 14 2008 11.15 GMT
The US is suspected of launching another missile strike into north-west Pakistan today in an attack that killed at least 12 people, including several alleged militants.
Intelligence officials said that at least two missiles hit a house in Ghari Wam, a village about 18 miles (30km) from the Afghan border.
The target of the attack was the Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud, who was accused of being behind the assassination of the former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, according to Reuters.
"There were two drones flying in our area and they fired four missiles. They were American," a paramilitary official told the agency.
Two officials put the death toll at 12 and said they included several suspected foreign militants. Their exact identity was not immediately clear. Taliban gunmen had cordoned the area and removed the bodies, one official said.
The strikes come after a marked escalation in attacks by unmanned US drones in recent months.
The US-led coalition in Afghanistan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The spokesman for the US embassy in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, could not be reached.
The US drone attacks, which are rarely confirmed, have been condemned by Pakistan as a violation of its territory.
"It's undermining my sovereignty and it's not helping win the ... hearts and minds of people," President Asif Ali Zardari told CBS News in an interview broadcast last night.
Yesterday the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, held talks with Gordon Brown in London.
In an interview with the BBC after the meeting Karzai said: "Our relations with Pakistan are much better than they have ever been before. The US, Britain and other allies must seize this opportunity to translate this into an effective strategy against terrorism."
Friday, November 14, 2008
U.S. continuing its attacks on other countries