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U.S. Strike In Pakistan Said To Kill 'Mostly Uzbek' Militants


A senior Taliban official said a U.S. missile strike killed "at least 25" Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Pakistan's South Waziristan region on the Afghan border on February 14.

The strike by pilotless drones was the third such attack since U.S. President Barack Obama took office on January 20 and could ignite fresh popular anger in Pakistan over the cross-border raids from Afghanistan.

The Taliban official said those killed were mostly Uzbek fighters.

"Around 50 to 60 mujahedin [fighters] have been living there for about a week," the source told Reuters. "All of them were Uzbeks."

Intelligence officials confirmed the incident. A senior security official said there appeared to be no senior Al-Qaeda figure among the dead.

Missiles reportedly hit a sprawling house used by the militants as a training camp in the Zangari area in the South Waziristan region. Zangari is around 70 kilometers north of the region's main town of Wana.

U.S. drones carried out about 30 missile attacks on suspected militants in 2008, according to a Reuters tally, more than half after the beginning of September.

Pakistani President Asif Zardari told CBS News in an interview scheduled to air on February 15 that the Taliban have established themselves across a large part of his country, forcing Islamabad to fight a war against the hard-line Islamist group that is about Pakistan's own survival.
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