Suspected U.S. missiles kill 14 in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:33pm IST

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ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Missiles believed to have been fired by U.S. pilotless drone aircraft hit a militant hideout and training camp in Pakistan on Thursday, a local official told Reuters, and a villager said at least 14 people were killed.

The missiles struck in the Barjo area of Kurram tribal region, close to the Afghan border.

"The training camp was completely destroyed," said Noor Islam, a villager in Barjo. He said 14 bodies had been recovered from the debris of the blitzed camp.

U.S. drone attacks in Kurram are rare, as al Qaeda and Taliban militants have been mostly targeted in the nearby Waziristan region.

"Four missiles hit a militant hideout and training camp in the Barjo area," a senior government official in Kurram told Reuters.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of sensitivity over U.S. missiles strikes on Pakistani territory. Pakistan has told its American ally that the strikes are counter-productive in the long run because they often cause civilian casualties and fuel support for the militant cause.

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