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US drone kills 21

Two missiles fired from a U.S. drone hit a militant facility in neighbouring Afghanistan, killing 21 insurgents, including the son of the head of the Pakistani Taliban, two Pakistani intelligence officials and local Taliban commanders said Thursday.

The strike, which the officials said took place on Wednesday, targeted a compound frequented by Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban who is believed to be hiding in Afghanistan.

The intelligence officials said Fazlullah was apparently not there at the time of the strike in Afghanistan's Kunar province, miles away from Pakistani border, but his son was killed.

Three Pakistani Taliban commanders also confirmed the strike and militant casualties. Pakistani officials and the Taliban commanders spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The United States made no comment on the strike. There was also no immediate comment from NATO, Afghan authorities or the government in Pakistan where Afghan Ambassador Omar Zakhilwal met with Pakistan's army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa on Thursday.

Zakhiwal tweeted that the two had a "comprehensive discussion on all key aspects" of Afghan-Pakistan relations, including existing challenges and "mutual misgivings."

Pakistan opposes American drone strikes inside its territory, saying they violate the country's sovereignty.

Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua is currently visiting Washington, where she is believed to have met with officials from the Trump administration in an effort to enhance co-operation between the two sides on combatting terror and other issues.

It was unclear whether the bodies of those killed in Wednesday's strike would be brought to Pakistan for burial.



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