No supplies to Nato; Drone attacks kill 15 in Pakistan

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan, Oct 2, (AFP) - Two US drone strikes killed 15 militants today in a lawless tribal belt in Pakistan, where a land route for NATO supplies was blocked for a third consecutive day, officials said.
In the first attack four missiles hit a house used by militants in Dashgah village, killing six people.

“Two US drones fired four missiles and destroyed the house. Six militants were killed in this attack,” a Pakistani security official in Peshawar told AFP on condition of anonymity. Pakistani officials have reported that at least 21 US drone strikes in September have killed around 120 people, the highest monthly toll for the attacks.

Washington has classified Pakistan's tribal belt on the Afghan border as a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda and the most dangerous place on Earth. A covert US drone war in Pakistan has killed around 1,140 people in about 140 strikes since August 2008, including a number of senior militants.

Pakistan has protested against the drone strikes but has never taken any practical steps to stop the US carrying out such attacks. However, Pakistan's move to block a main land route for NATO supplies this week has shown its determination to protect its airspace from US aircraft.

Pakistan halted the NATO convoys on Thursday after officials blamed a cross-border NATO helicopter attack for the deaths of three Pakistani soldiers. On Saturday the route remained closed, with no NATO supplies entering Afghanistan.

“The situation is the same. The border is blocked for NATO supplies,” an official at Torkham, the main border crossing in Pakistan's Khyber district, told AFP by telephone.

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