At least 30 people in Pakistan lost their lives Saturday in two separate suicide attacks and a suspected U.S. missile strike, according to local security officials.
About 12 of them died when security forces fired on a truck packed with explosives approaching a checkpoint in the tribal region of North Waziristan, a local military official told CNN. The official said the truck blew up before it rammed into the checkpoint, killing bystanders and pedestrians, including five children, around 1:30 p.m. In a second suicide attack, a bomber walked to a vehicle security checkpoint in Islamabad on Saturday evening and blew himself up. Six people died, police spokesman Bin Yamin said. Initial reports that the attacker targeted a nearby market were wrong, Yamin said. From 12 to as many as 18 people died in a suspected U.S. missile strike in North Waziristan, in northwestern Pakistan, on Saturday morning, local political and military sources said. Based on a CNN tally, Saturday’s strike is the 11th suspected U.S. missile strike in Pakistan this year.
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The airstrike targeted a home in the village of Datakhel, according to political official Shahab Ali Shah. One Pakistani military official said as many as 18 people might have been killed. The U.S-led coalition and NATO — based in Afghanistan — are battling militants who are launching attacks from the tribal areas, Taliban strongholds, along the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The forces have become frustrated with Islamabad over the years, saying it is not being proactive enough against militants — a claim Pakistan denies. The United States is the only country operating in the region known to have the capability to launch missiles from drones, which are controlled remotely. The attacks, which have claimed dozens of lives, have angered many Pakistani officials. The U.S. military in Afghanistan never comments on reported cross-border strikes.