Third drone strike in South Waziristan raises death toll to 19

Published: June 6, 2011

Four missiles were fired in a house in Dana, a few kilometers away from the area where Ilyas Kashmiri was killed.

SOUTH WAZIRISTAN: At least 19 people were killed when three separate drone strikes were fired in different areas in South Waziristan on Monday.

The first two strikes were 15 minutes apart. The first strike killed seven militants in the early hours in Shalam Raghzai, 10 kilometres (six miles) northwest of Wana, the district’s main town. A second strike slammed two missiles into a compound in the Wacha Dana area, 12 kilometres northwest of Wana, Pakistani officials said. The third strike came a few hours later and two missiles targeted a vehicle in Dare Nishtar in Shawal killing four people.

Officials said initial reports suggested that some foreign militants may have been killed in the first attack and that Pakistani Taliban were targeted in the second strike, which came just 15 minutes later.

The strikes came after a US drone strike reportedly killed senior al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri on Saturday.

The Pakistani parliament has called for an end to US drone strikes and said there must be no repeat of the operation that killed bin Laden, despite the fact that President Barack Obama has reserved the right to act again.

The drone strikes are hugely unpopular among the general public, who are deeply opposed to the government’s alliance with Washington, and inflame anti-US feeling, which has heightened further after the Bin Laden raid.

But US officials insist that the missile strikes have severely weakened al Qaeda’s leadership and killed high-value targets including the former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.

Missile attacks doubled in the area last year, with more than 100 drone strikes killing over 670 people in 2010, compared with 45 strikes that killed 420 in 2009, according to an AFP tally.

Most of the attacks have been concentrated in North Waziristan, the most notorious Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda bastion in Pakistan, where the United States wants the Pakistan military to launch a ground offensive as soon as possible.

Reader Comments (28)

  • saleem khan
    Jun 6, 2011 - 9:39AM

    The drone strikes are hugely unpopular among the general public but not among the people living in the area where the drones are happening. Recommend

  • muhammad fajim
    Jun 6, 2011 - 10:47AM

    The drone strikes should be increased as they are killing off the religious fanatics who are killing our people.The islamic extremists from around the country have gone and found refuge & support in the tribal areas where our govt’s writ doesn’t exist.
    so the only solution are these drones which really are a gift from allah.They do the work we cant do ourselves.I hope we can buy drones of our own also & then our army can finish off these islamic terrorists itself.Our media needs to support our armed forces & encourage them to finish off all the religious fanatics wherever they exist.Recommend

  • Jehangir
    Jun 6, 2011 - 10:48AM

    What Sovereignty do we crib about when our troops or Media cannot even go to verify as to who was killed? The Media, Army, Politicians all make fools of public in the name of Ghairat.

    One one side, our Generals condemn in front & in the back welcome Drones.

    Now the latest “Ghairat – Item Song & Dance” is performed by Imran Khan with the Bearded Mullah`s with the Media playing the tunes directed by Army / ISI & the show name is “Dharna”.

    Why cant these guys go to Waziristan to perform? Scared?Recommend

  • sadiq salim
    Jun 6, 2011 - 10:50AM

    Target all the sanctuaries of the islamic fanatics.They must not be given a safe place for hiding & planning attacks against us.An operation cleanup is also required against the madrassas and mosques which are spreading religious extremism & hatred of non-muslims & promoting opression of women in the name of religion.

    Mosques and madrassas have to be brought under govt. control who can then regulate what is taught there so that no more suicide bombers or fidayeen attackers are raised in these madrassas.Recommend

  • N.S
    Jun 6, 2011 - 11:05AM

    When Pakistan army killed people with fighter jets then terrorist wre killed but when people killed through drone strikes which is one of the accurate method to hit a target then innocent people were killed.
    Is Pakistan media is working as independently or is working as a nationalist media ?Recommend

  • R S JOHAR
    Jun 6, 2011 - 11:19AM

    Americans had categorically stated the drones attacks would continue till operations are commenced in NWA and rightly so.Recommend

  • freedom of heresy
    Jun 6, 2011 - 11:35AM

    The only thing that irks me is the buffoonery which happens in our parliament. If these strikes are beneficial (and to some extent they are), why on earth our elected government doesn’t take us in confidence. Instead they spout age-old chants that ‘we condemn them, they are counter-productive in war on terror’… Just have some guts and state what is your policy.Recommend

  • Nasir Jamal
    Jun 6, 2011 - 11:49AM

    @saleem khan:

    How can you say this? Please share your information with us if you have credible knowledge.Recommend

  • Illiterate jehadi
    Jun 6, 2011 - 12:27PM

    Hope they catch i mean kill some big fish this time as wellRecommend

  • sars
    Jun 6, 2011 - 1:10PM

    With the passage of time i think all sensible people are coming to the realization that our own police and armed forces are useless against the miliatnts who are now woven into the fabric of pakistan.

    If targeted drone strikes kill more militants than civilians(especially the leadership), this is welcome.Otherwise civilians casualties of random attacks will increase.

    To the people of the tribal areas i would urge that if you dont want your families to be threatened, then dont give sanctuary to militants.If you do then dont blame others when your famillies are targeted. Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Jun 6, 2011 - 1:25PM

    Oh, so many “Innocent Talibans” are being killed by these drones. According to JI, JUI both F & S group including their silent copies in our legislative assemblies these kids are holy men. Can’t comment further than this, you all know why.Recommend

  • Jun 6, 2011 - 1:46PM

    @Nasir Jamal:
    Where is your evidence for the conclusion that innocence die in those strikes at all? It’s kind of weird for masses of innocents to be so close to the target if they weren’t supporters.

    I’ve seen recent claims of corpses of those who died being burnt beyond recognition. It wouldn’t be any different for the previous strikes. They must have some superhuman intuition.

    Yeah, the drones may kill innocents some of the time but, the Taliban/Al Qaeda go out of their way to even kill even defenseless children. The death of 50 children from one of their bombings would be used to pad their numbers resulting in a celebration.

    In the end, only one side is refusing to stop killing. The drone attacks small margin of error is regrettable. But, it saves far more than it harms and the ones it harms are those who actually want to harm the world and take pride in it.

    It’s kind of sad how a drone has more of a conscience than those it targets.

    The intelligent people will figure out the differences and be happy the strikes occur without anyone needing to hold their hand to reach the conclusion.

    His claim and the opposing claims come from the very same source. One has to be wrong. Recommend

  • Chilli
    Jun 6, 2011 - 2:27PM

    Replace Pak Army with Drones and save big budget on defense spendings.. Hurray..Recommend

  • fahad
    Jun 6, 2011 - 4:00PM

    @muhammad fajim:

    wow.. so US has invented bombs which ONLY kills you have specified?

    I am Micheal Jackson!Recommend

  • Asim+Ali
    Jun 6, 2011 - 4:15PM

    Why is this even an headline? Why doesn’t the press take out a page and label it, Acts of Terrorism and put everything related to drones, suicide attacks, bomb blasts on that one page. In this way, the media can bring to light other issues confronting the nation.Recommend

  • Hillary Clinton
    Jun 6, 2011 - 4:26PM

    It is an interesting war i.e war against terrorists. In this war one side has all means of communication, military and economic power. The other has small useless ammunition with no economic backing. The former is not only fighting the war but also insulting and defaming the opponent. And due to its being a world power, every one feels safe in supporting it become sympathizer of mightier. The opponent (the weaker) has feeling of revenge as the fuel and ammunition which makes them to blow their lives even. In every conflict each side has its interests which it protects by fighting or whatever way. But here, one side is being portrayed as criminals whereas they are just using their right to retaliate or do whatever they can to inflict loss to their opponent. It is becoming a norm that when the opponent is too small or weak, the mightier convinces the world that the opponent is mean and criminal too, which is not necessarily true.Recommend

  • Furqan
    Jun 6, 2011 - 4:52PM

    Stop these drones and stop killing innocent people get out USARecommend

  • Thinking
    Jun 6, 2011 - 7:20PM

    Can Pakistan go through with reverse outsourcing? The military and ISI can be replaced by drones and the billions of dollars saved can be shifted to education and infrastructure leading to a prosperous Pakistan free of terrorism. Recommend

  • Tariq Shah
    Jun 6, 2011 - 7:23PM

    I say these drones are a good thing, instead of refusing to take responsibility, the stupid PPP cowardly govt needs to take full ownership and come out of the closet.

    I would rather see dead Taliban, than worry about soverignity…what soverignity? we dont have soverignity in Waziristan or we would not have this mess.

    Imran Khan needs to STFU.Recommend

  • Tariq Shah
    Jun 6, 2011 - 7:30PM

    @Furqan:

    use your head, the drones are killing the terrorists, I am a pathan and i can tell you, the locals are not against these drones as they are very accurate in killing the evil taliban who carry out suicide bombs, would you rather the Taliban live and continue to destroy or country, or that the US drones take them out? what would you prefer?Recommend

  • vasan
    Jun 6, 2011 - 7:35PM

    Asim+Ali: The information requested by you is available in the link
    http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/
    You may read and enjoyRecommend

  • Arslan
    Jun 6, 2011 - 10:31PM

    @Tariq Shah:
    You should be really ashamed to do what you did – speaking in the name of ‘Pathan’ (how many Pashtuns use this term for themselves?)-, when Americans themselves talk of ‘collateral damages’ in order to rationalize civilian killings.Recommend

  • Smarty
    Jun 7, 2011 - 2:12AM

    @Arslan:
    So you have generalised all pashtuns?Recommend

  • Kamran Asim
    Jun 7, 2011 - 2:37AM

    @Tariq Shah. probably his complete name is Syed Tariq Shah Rizvi. and this is also the reason of his thinking too. otherwise, an ordinary Pakistani can never say things like that.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 7, 2011 - 4:45AM

    I thought the Pakistani army had cleaned out the Taliban and taken back control? Recommend

  • Tariq Shah
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:53AM

    @Arslan:

    anyoen who feels sorry for the terrorist lot that cowardly hides amongst people and blows bombs killing innocents is a friend of the devil, thats what the Taliban are, devils, look at their evil faces, wearing black masks to cover their black souls, you sir should be ashamed of siding with murderers and killers of innocent people, and stop blaming USA and Israel for everything, it is our own TTP etc who are to blame, we need to stop living in a fools world.Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2011 - 11:35AM

    I’ll give the people who hate the drones the answer to their problems.

    Tell your your morally-superior murderers to speak these words: We will stop killing people

    Problem solved.

    Since they’re all so rational it shouldn’t be a hard thing to accomplish. Save the world from the evil drones. Show us fools the light.Recommend

  • demosthenes
    Jun 8, 2011 - 4:48AM

    I was against the Drone strikes until I read all the positive comments by the community in the territories. I also researched who was getting killed and where. Drones may be the best weapon against the Taliban leaders but it’s not effective against suicide bombers, The PK Army has got to follow up and close the training schools, camps and Mosques.. Regular schools need to be reopened and young men and women employed rebuilding infrastructure.Both the US and PK governments should spend less on war machines and more on rebuilding communities.Recommend

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