Pakistani officials: US strikes kill 4 insurgents

MIR ALI, Pakistan (AP) — U.S. missiles killed four alleged Taliban insurgents on Monday in northwest Pakistan, while three other militant suspects were slain in a shootout with local security forces elsewhere in the region, officials said.

Three missiles struck a house in the Khaisur area of the North Waziristan tribal region near the border with Afghanistan, said two intelligence officials on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

The identities of the dead were not known.

Washington has fired more than 30 missiles this year at militant targets close to the Afghan border, killing scores of alleged insurgents. U.S. officials do not publicly acknowledge being behind the attacks. The missiles are fired from unmanned drones launched either from Afghanistan or — according to some media reports — from secret bases in Pakistan.

Pakistani officials protest the strikes, but the country's military is thought to provide intelligence for some of them.

In the Swat Valley, where security force carried out an operation a year ago that succeeded in pushing back militants, security forces killed three suspected insurgents after a standoff that began late Sunday, said local police chief Feroz Khan.

Khan said the three were alleged to be involved in recent killings in the area, which still sees sporadic violence.

Also in the northwest, the body of an anti-Taliban tribal elder was found in the Bajur tribal region.

The killers left a note on the body of Maulana Abdul Haleem stating "any one found involved in helping the government against the Taliban will meet the same fate," Khan said.


Associated Press reporters Sherin Zada in Mingora and Anwarullah Khan in Khar contributed to this report