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Missiles Hit Suspected Militants in Pakistan's Northwest


Pakistani security officials say missiles have struck a suspected militant hideout in Pakistan's northwest, killing at least eight people, including foreign militants.

Officials Wednesday said two missiles hit a home in Wana, the main town in the South Waziristan tribal region. Officials say the house was owned by a man known to have connections to Islamic militants.

Residents say they heard aircraft flying overhead at the time of the missile strike. The United States has used pilotless drone aircraft to target militants along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan in the past.

Pakistani military spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas said there were reports of an explosion and several casualties in Wana, but that officials did not know if it was a mortar attack, a bomb, or a missile.

Separately, officials with the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad Wednesday said the United States has provided $50,000 in emergency assistance to families displaced by the recent conflict in the Bajaur and Mohmand tribal regions. The funds will be used to buy supplies, including gas stoves, utensils and material for shelter.

Pakistani officials say more than 200,000 people have fled their homes in Bajaur since security forces launched an offensive against Taliban and al-Qaida-linked militants there two weeks ago.

Many of the displaced have ended up in government-run relief camps in surrounding areas near the Afghan border.

Pakistani security forces began targeting militants in Bajaur after an attack on a military checkpoint killed two soldiers on August 6. Some 500 militants and at least 22 soldiers have been killed since then, with clashes continuing Wednesday.

Embassy officials say the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is monitoring the situation and will provide more help if necessary. The United States says it has provided more than $2 billion in health, social and economic aid to Pakistan since 2002.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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