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Missile attack kills 14 in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD — A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles Wednesday at an alleged hide-out connected to a Taliban leader who has threatened to attack Washington, killing 14 people and wounding several others, officials said.

The attack came a day after Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a police academy in the eastern city of Lahore, saying it was retaliation for U.S. missile strikes on militant strongholds along the Afghan border. Mehsud also vowed to launch an attack on Washington or even the White House. The United States recently placed a $5 million bounty on Mehsud.

The FBI, however, said he had made similar threats previously and that there was no indication of anything imminent.

A local intelligence official said the compound attacked Wednesday in a remote area near the Afghan border belonged to one of Mehsud's commanders.

Up to 30 suspected militants were at the compound when it was hit, and the Taliban have moved the dead and injured to an undisclosed location, he said.

Military aid: U.S. defense officials said Wednesday that the Pentagon is seeking as much as $3 billion over the next five years to improve Pakistan's ability to fight insurgents in the mountainous Afghan border region. About $500 million will be sought in a supplemental budget request that will be submitted to Congress later this month.

Missile attack kills 14 in Pakistan 04/01/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 1, 2009 11:18pm]
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