1st LD Writethru: 2 Haqqani militants killed in U.S. drone strike in NW Pakistan
Wednesday 24th of January
ISLAMABAD, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Missile strike from the U.S. pilotless aircraft has left two Haqqani network militants killed in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of Orakzai Agency on Wednesday, local reports said.
The drones fired two missiles which landed at the hideout of militant commander Ahsan Khorai, killing him and one of his accomplices on the spot.
The attack was launched at the outskirts of Orakzai agency that lies close to Pakistan-Afghanistan border, Dawn News said.
Local residents were quoted as saying that the spy aircraft kept on hovering very low at the airspace of Orakzai and its neighboring areas including tribal region of Kurram and Hangu district of the adjoining Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province before launching the strike.
The early morning drone sortie caused panic among the residents, including many women and kids.
This is the second drone attack in the country's tribal areas since the beginning of this year. The earlier attack, which took place on Jan. 17, left one man injured in Kurram agency.
Drone strikes escalated this year in the country's tribal areas as compared to 2017. Last year only one such strike was launched from January to March, and that did not cause any loss of life.
The strike happened at the time when Pakistan's relations with the United States are strained due to recent tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump who alleged that Pakistan cheated the United States in Afghanistan.
The United States also cut 2 billion U.S. dollars of military support fund to Pakistan, following the tweet, further fuelling up the feud between the two sides in the war against terrorism.
Drone strikes are highly unpopular in Pakistani public as they kill militants and innocent people including women and kids indiscriminately.
Islamabad also condemns such attack, calling them a violation of its sovereignty.