Drone strike kills 20 militants in Pak

Peshawar: US drones on Thursday caught Taliban militants assembling for meeting in the Pakistan`s lawless Northwest and unleashed four missiles killing 24 militants in one of the most lethal strikes this year.

About 40 Taliban cadres were holding a `jirga` (council) in a compound, Datta Khel region, 25 km west of Miranshah in North Waziristan, when the CIA operated unmanned drones passed overhead.

The spy planes unleashed four missiles at the compound leaving 24 killed and several others injured, security officials said.

It was not immediately known if there were any high-value targets among those killed in the attack. Hours after, the drones kept on circling the area, local residents reported.

The Datta Khel region has frequently been targeted by the CIA-operated drones over the past two years.

This was the 23rd drone attack carried out this year.

Today`s big strike by the drones came a day after a Pakistani court freed CIA contractor Raymond Davis, which sparked small protests across the country.