Pakistani intelligence officials say five German militants are believed to have been killed in an American missile strike close to the Afghan border.This comes on the heels of NATO convoys to Afghanistan being repeatedly attacked in Pakistan, which has put the NATO efforts under considerable strain.
The officials say the missiles hit a house in the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan region late Monday.
Two say the victims were believed to be German citizens in the region for terrorist training.
A third says they were believed to be foreigners, but gave no details.
A Reuters report said eight militants of German nationality were killed by missiles from a pilotless aircraft.
The officials spoke anonymously because their agency does not permit operatives to be named in the media.
It's also on the heels of alerts in Europe over potential terror attacks. The US State Department issued warnings to those Americans visiting Europe to be vigilant (as if that isn't what people should be doing generally).
There were 21 UAV airstrikes this past September - the most for any month.
The CIA has been trying to eliminate leaders of the Haqqani network, an Afghan Taliban faction operating out of North Waziristan which is seen as one of the most effective forces fighting U.S. troops in Afghanistan.This area has been the focus of military action for quite some time. Mir Ali was the scene of a major Pakistani military action in 2007, where Pakistani troops killed nearly 200 people, most of whom were terrorists, though the Pakistani forces got bloodied in the process. Quite a few of the UAV airstrikes have been directed in the vicinity of Mir Ali.
North Waziristan is home to a variety of militant groups, some fighting the Pakistani government, others battling U.S.-led NATO troops in Afghanistan.
Some militants are foreigners who have taken up the cause of holy war against the West and see North Waziristan as a safe haven or training ground.
U.S. and British alerts about possible attacks in Europe highlight concern that growing numbers of militants are going from the West to remote war zones for training in answer to al Qaeda's online call for violence.
The immediate trigger for Sunday's travel alerts was intelligence about a plot against European targets reportedly originating with a group of individuals in mountainous northern Pakistan, some of them believed to be European citizens.
Few details of the conspiracy are known. But the plot appears to be of the kind that Western officials believe poses the most significant danger today -- the use of so-called self-radicalized militants with no previous record of extremism.