The death toll from a US drone strike in Pakistan's troubled northwestern tribal Waziristan region has risen to 12 after tribesmen pulled more bodies from debris.
The strike from CIA-operated spy drones was the fourth this month in North Waziristan region. Since August 2008, nearly 60 such attacks by US spy planes have killed more than 550 people in the volatile region Earlier reports said four people were killed in the latest lethal incident which took place around five kilometers (three miles) northwest of Miransha in the North Waziristan tribal district on Thursday night.
Local residents told Press TV correspondent in Peshawar that at least a dozen people lost their lives in the attack. The death toll is expected to rise as some of the injured were said to be in critical condition. The drone planes continued low-altitude flights in several towns of Waziristan region over the past weeks. The air strikes, which are common in Pakistan, allegedly target pro-Taliban militants in the tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.
However, Pakistani media outlets say only one-sixth of the raids have managed to target militant hideouts. The developments come at a time when Washington is expanding its embassy and deploying more 'security guards' in Pakistan. The civilian and military authorities in Islamabad publicly oppose the US missile strikes, saying they violate the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Despite the presence of over 100,000 troops in the war-torn country, Afghanistan is witnessing the highest level of violence since the 2001 invasion. Senior Pakistani officials say NATO's wrong policies were to be blamed for increasing insurgency in the troubled South Asian region.