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Over 400 militants in Pakistan killed in U.S. drone attacks in 9 months

Written By vibykhmer on Friday, September 4, 2009 | 8:36 AM

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- At least 443 militants in northwest Pakistan have been killed in 37 U.S. drone attacks during the last 9 months in which the name of the Pakistan Taliban chief Baitullah Masood was on the top of the hit list, the local NNI news agency reported Friday.

According to the news agency, the U.S. drone attacks pounded the hideouts of militants during current year and hit the areas of South Waziristan, North Waziristan, Kurram tribal agency, Orakzai agency and Buno and killed 443 militants.

During the last nine months the total numbers of secret attacks were 37, out of which 27 attacks stroked in the area of South Waziristan, part of the lawless tribal regions along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. Taliban and Al-Qaeda leaders are believed to be hiding in the area.

The chief of banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) Baitullah Mehsud was killed in one of the U.S. drone attacks in early August.

U.S. drones regularly fire missile in the Pakistani tribal regions to target the militants and opposition parties said Pakistani government permitted such attacks. But Pakistan denied the charges.

Pakistan insisted that drone attacks were counterproductive and must be stopped but the CIA chief and top U.S. officials have ruled out any change in the policy.

Pakistani forces are on an offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan against Taliban sympathizers after it launched an assault in the Swat Valley and Buner in the northwest in April.


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