New Wave of Drone Attacks Scorch Khyber
Almost 60 killed in Pakistan
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 17, 2010 3:15 PM CST
In an Oct. 25, 2007 file photo a Predator drone unmanned aerial vehicle takes off on a U.S. Customs Border Patrol mission from Fort Huachuca, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin/file)

(Newser) – Nearly 60 people have been killed in Pakistan’s Khyber district in a sudden onslaught from CIA drones. Three strikes in the Tirah Valley killed at least 50, while another nearby killed seven more, the BBC reports. Security officials say all those killed were militants, but that hasn’t been independently confirmed. One of the attacks hit a meeting of the pro-Taliban Lashkar-e-Islam group, killing at least 32 people, including some of the groups top leaders, officials said.

While the US has drastically stepped up drone strikes under President Obama, most of them target Waziristan. Attacks in Khyber are rare, because the area is not considered a major militant sanctuary, according to a BBC correspondent in Pakistan. The strikes indicate that militants are seeking refuge outside their traditional Waziristan haunts, and that the US is intent on following them.