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Page last updated at 18:21 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 19:21 UK

'US strike' hits Pakistan village

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A US strike on a Pakistani village near the Afghan border has killed at least nine people including suspected foreign militants, Pakistani sources say.

Initial reports said at least 20 people had died when an unmanned aircraft (drone) fired on the village in North Waziristan region.

But officials later talked of between nine and 12 deaths.

The US military has not confirmed any drone attacks and a Pakistani spokesman said there had been no intrusion.

North Waziristan is a stronghold of Islamic militants, including the Taleban and al-Qaeda, which US and other international troops are fighting in Afghanistan.

'Most were foreigners'

The missile was reportedly launched in the evening. There is confusion over reports of a morning air strike.

The evening targeted a house in the village of Mohammad Khel, 30km west of Miranshah, the main town in the region.

Pakistani intelligence officials quoted by Reuters news agency say a drone attacked Mohammad Khel at around 2130 (1530 GMT) on Friday, killing at least nine people including foreigners.

Earlier, Pakistan's Dawn TV and AFP news agency talked of at least 20 deaths in Mohammad Khel.

"Our reports suggest that around 20 suspected militants were killed..." an unnamed "senior Pakistani security official" was quoted as saying by AFP.

"Most were foreigners," the official added. Dawn TV reported that 16 of the dead were foreign.

In the morning attack first reported by Reuters news agency, air strikes killed a child and two women in the North Waziristan village of Datta Khel.

However, the agency later quoted a Pakistani military spokesman, Maj-Gen Athar Abbas, as denying there had been any intrusion into Pakistani territory.

Instead, he said, an international operation had been launched against militants on the Afghan side of the border.

The evening attack killed at least 20 people, unnamed Pakistani security sources and the Dawn News television channel said.




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