ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – U.S. missiles hit a suspected militant hide-out, killing 16 insurgents in a troubled Pakistani tribal region along the Afghan border before dawn today, intelligence officials said.
The strike came as the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, was in Pakistan. Mullen was expected to see Pakistan’s army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, who was recently granted a three-year term extension in what some have welcomed as a sign of continuity in Pakistan’s battle against Islamist extremists.
The six missiles struck a compound in the Nazai Narai area of South Waziristan. The hide-out was known to be frequented by foreign fighters who were among the dead, two intelligence officials said.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said agents were trying to get more details about the identities of the dead.
U.S. missile strikes regularly pound extremist targets in the northwest. Although Pakistan publicly condemns the missile strikes, it has secretly helped Washington in previous attacks.