Islamabad, 24 Jan. (AK)) - By Syed Saleem Shahzad - Suspected drone attacks on Sunday in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region on Sunday allegedly killed several high level militants as local villagers in the region staged a protest against drone strikes they say are killing innocent people.
The strikes in Pakistan's northwest near the Afghan border allegedly conducted by the CIA on Sunday killed high profile Arab and Turk militants, according to a source close to Adnkronos International (AKI).
A total of 12 suspected militants died in the three strikes, according to Paksitani officials.
Well placed security officials told AKI, on the condition of anonymity: "The drones struck a house and a vehicle in Doga Mada Khel Village of North Waziristan, which serves as the base for the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan."
IMU is said to be very active in recruiting Turks and Uzbek militants living in Europe.
The militant group is believed to have recruited several Caucasians from Europe and brought them to North Waziristan for training before sending them back to Europe to carry out attacks in their home countries.
Sources within militant camps refused to reveal the identities of the militants allegedly killed in the drone strikes. But the unnamed sources disclosed that eight Arab nationals and three Turkish nationals were seriously injured in the attacks. Three of them were said to be in a critical condition.
The Obama administration has stepped up drone strikes targeting Pakistan's tribal region with more than 100 attacks last year, mostly targeting North Waziristan. Over 700 people were killed in suspected drone attacks in 2010 compared to some fifty strikes that killed around 500 people in 2009.
More than than 1,500 people are reported to have died over 250 alleged drone attacks in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt since August 2008.
The US seldom confirms or denies such attacks.