Drone strike kills four in Miranshah

By AFP
Published: August 16, 2011

A US drone strike in a Pakistani tribal area killed at least four suspected militants on Tuesday. PHOTO: EPA

MIRANSHAH: A US drone strike in a Pakistani tribal area killed at least four suspected militants on Tuesday, officials said.

The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles, hitting a compound and a vehicle parked outside it in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district, a senior security official told AFP.

“At least four militants were killed,” the official said, adding that two others were also wounded. Another security official and an intelligence official confirmed the attack and casualties.

Washington has called Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwest tribal region the global headquarters of al Qaeda, where Taliban and other al Qaeda-linked networks have rear bases in the 10-year war in Afghanistan.

The identity of the suspected militants was not immediately clear, officials said.

The missiles struck in the main town close to a girls school before dawn as people were starting their Ramadan fast, an AFP reporter, close to the destroyed compound, said. Militants immediately cordoned off the compound and were busy removing debris, he said.

Although the United States does not publicly confirm drone attacks, its military and the CIA in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy the unmanned Predator aircraft in the region. North Waziristan is the headquarters of the Haqqani leadership and the main militant bastion in the semi-autonomous tribal belt.

The Haqqani network is considered the deadliest enemy of US troops in eastern Afghanistan.

It was founded by Jalaluddin Haqqani and is run by his son, Sirajuddin, both designated “global terrorists” by Washington.

The group has been blamed for some of the worst anti-US attacks in Afghanistan, including a suicide attack at a US base in the eastern province of Khost in 2009 that killed seven CIA operatives.

Around two dozen drone strikes have been reported in Pakistan since elite US forces killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a suburban home near Pakistan’s main military academy in Abbottabad, close to the capital, on May 2.

Drone attacks are unpopular among many Pakistanis, who oppose the alliance with Washington and who are sensitive to perceived violations of sovereignty.

US officials have accused Pakistani intelligence of playing a double game with extremists, including the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network, in order to exert influence in Afghanistan and offset the might of arch-rival India.

Washington’s pressure on Islamabad to launch a decisive military campaign in North Waziristan, as Pakistan has conducted elsewhere in the tribal belt, has so far fallen on deaf ears.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • Cityboy
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:06PM

    A drone a day , keep terrorists away..

    may allah bless drones as they are eliminating perverted fascists from the society..if you dunt kill them , they will blow u out…

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  • faraz
    Aug 16, 2011 - 12:36PM

    Killing foot soldiers is a useless exercise; there is a pool of millions from which these groups can recruit members. Drones should be restricted for high value targets; if there is a Zawahari or Hakeemullah out there, go for it

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  • Cityboy
    Aug 16, 2011 - 2:03PM

    @faraz.
    Hakimullah? R u kidding me ? Drone dont target Pakistani taliban. Drone attack is for converting afghan taliban in to pakistani taliban.

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  • Basit
    Aug 16, 2011 - 3:45PM

    innocent until proven guilty. These guys are doing exactly what Taliban does i.e. decide outside of court who do you think is your enemy and kill them.

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  • faraz
    Aug 16, 2011 - 7:39PM

    @cityboy

    The dreaded Baitalluh Mehsood died in drone attack. Most of the strikes in Mehsud area of South Waziristan target TTP. Before the military operation, almost half of the drones targeted South Waziristan. Now TTP has moved to North Waziristan, it’s hard to tell which group is being targeted. But of course, US would prefer Afghan taliban in their drone operations.

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 17, 2011 - 6:13AM

    @Cityboy:
    how do the drone strikes turn an af tali into a pak tali? what is the difference? [sorry if this is a dumb question. i'm a dumb american.]

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  • 1stResponder
    Aug 17, 2011 - 6:16AM

    @Cityboy:
    also, is the Haqqani Network pak tali or af tali?

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