Attacks resume: Drone strike kills six in North Waziristan

Published: January 13, 2012

Officials say resumption of strikes does not signal an improvement in frayed Pak-US relations.

MIRANSHAH: At least six people were killed and two others were injured on Thursday when an unmanned US drone fired missiles at a vehicle in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan.

The strike took place in the New Aadda area, officials said while confirming the strike. The identities of those killed were not immediately known.

An official claimed those targeted were foreigners, possibly from Turkmenistan, but did not divulge further.

Sources from the area said that two loud explosions were heard, after which the vehicle was completely destroyed.

While speaking to The Express Tribune, a resident of the area said that “the vehicle had stopped for some reason before it was destroyed by the drone attack.”

The strike comes two days after a similar attack killed four militants in North Waziristan, marking the resumption of the unacknowledged US drone campaign, paused after a November 26 Nato cross-border attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The last drone strike before Tuesday’s was on November 17.

Resumption of strikes

The resumption of drone strikes against militant targets in Pakistan does not signal an improvement in deeply frayed relations between Washington and Islamabad, US officials and experts said on Wednesday.

Officials insisted there was no formal decision to suspend drone attacks after the November 26 attack, and added that strikes were based on the availability of targeting intelligence and suitable flying conditions.

But one former US official did not discount the possibility the recent lull in drone attacks might have been calculated, at least in part, to “cool tempers” in Pakistan following the November incident.

Officials in Washington said the militants targeted in Wednesday’s air strike were believed to be ‘foreign fighters’ of Arab and possibly Uzbek descent.

US and Pakistani officials also said it was extremely unlikely the United States gave Pakistani authorities advance notice of Wednesday’s drone strike, although Pakistan may have been notified either at the time of, or shortly after, the attack.

The officials added that many US counterterrorism experts inside the government believed drone strikes must continue at a fairly regular pace if the United States is to keep al Qaeda and other Pakistan-based militants off balance and prevent them from rebuilding their strength.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (55)

  • Truth before self
    Jan 12, 2012 - 7:13PM

    Congrats USA for resuming the drone strikes. This was long overdue. God bless the United States in the fight against terror!

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  • Mirza
    Jan 12, 2012 - 7:15PM

    Still nNo boots on the ground. Looks likek the relationship between Pakistan and the US has normalized. A very welcome move after the butchering of Pakistani soldiers by terrorists.

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  • Dilbar Jahan
    Jan 12, 2012 - 7:16PM

    This is the only language the terrorists understand. DRONE KE JAY HO!

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  • Jan 12, 2012 - 7:22PM

    Looks like US Pak ties are back on track

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  • Khan
    Jan 12, 2012 - 7:26PM

    Congratulations to all war-mongers, but mind it.. This is NO ending war :-(

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  • Cautious
    Jan 12, 2012 - 7:30PM

    It would appear that the US has decided that it’s deferral of drone attacks didn’t buy any goodwill and it doesn’t really care what your Parliament has to say about the issue.

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  • Akhtar
    Jan 12, 2012 - 7:40PM

    Our sovereignty has become the biggest joke. Statements by parliament, the Generals are a big joke. No doubt, we are a banana republic. All we need is aid. Our lives won’t matter. Iran forces come, shoot & go. Raymond Davis did the same, Abbottabad incident, dr afaik………
    These are some cases we know. There may be many we don’t even know.

    What a shame.

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  • Aceleaf
    Jan 12, 2012 - 7:50PM

    Let every terror agent be unsafe even in his safe abode

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  • faraz
    Jan 12, 2012 - 8:07PM

    We cannot stop this; we have already played the last card by blocking Nato supply line.

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  • Satan
    Jan 12, 2012 - 8:14PM

    Are we against the drones? Isnt this the state of war where drones are coming from another country to bomb here?
    Somebody please explain!

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  • rashid
    Jan 12, 2012 - 8:18PM

    shameful for pakistani govt..

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  • Shah G
    Jan 12, 2012 - 8:20PM

    i thought chief sb order breaking of chain n command system…. shoot at sight any intrusion….
    i think once again we couldn’t properly see as drones r comparatively smaller then helicopters…..

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  • Cautious
    Jan 12, 2012 - 8:30PM

    The solution to drone attacks has always been simple — quit providing terrorist sanctuary.

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  • Patriotic
    Jan 12, 2012 - 8:35PM

    Drone are important in this fight against terrorism, but we need to put this strongly to the US that we should be given control of these drone strikes.

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  • Muhammad
    Jan 12, 2012 - 8:50PM

    mubarak ho

    we are back in the race for failed state

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  • mohammad naeem
    Jan 12, 2012 - 8:54PM

    Keep fighting with each other.. Dont blame america for resuming its drone toys taking advantange of our weak position. Something more nasty to come from america in coming days.. Wait and get weaker!

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  • naughty pakistani
    Jan 12, 2012 - 9:04PM

    There is an old saying in Urdu that if you have a berry tree in your house, you must expect pebbles from outside.

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  • rafi
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:07PM

    This country is an embarrassment!

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  • Nand
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:15PM

    @Patriotic: The whole problem in Pakistan with the drones is the killing of innocent. If they are to be handed over to you can you assure that innocent people will not be killed?
    I do not think so. It is just another way of saying we want your technology for FREE.

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  • Pakistani Citizen
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:32PM

    Letting America act as judge, jury, executioner and kill our citizens at will is the most heinous crime of our government. I didn’t see India or Sri Lanka doing the same when they had terrorism problems.

    Its a sad time to be Pakistani.

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  • Aceleaf
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:53PM

    @rafi:
    this country shall be an embarresment for terrorists and terror sympathisers.
    Every attack on taliban & alqaeda terrorists is bad news for their fans in Pakistan.

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  • Kashif
    Jan 12, 2012 - 10:54PM

    We didn’t learn from 1971 or 80s Soviet war, we invited Americans back in 2001 now wait till they take away Balochistan.

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  • Roflcopter
    Jan 12, 2012 - 11:06PM

    another day another cowardly terrorist attack.

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  • RajX
    Jan 12, 2012 - 11:14PM

    Looks like the trump card of NATO supply route has been turned into a joker card by the Americans. This is really troubling since there are no more cards to be played except stopping support for talibanRecommend

  • Ali
    Jan 12, 2012 - 11:29PM

    @Akhtar:
    lol…stop comparing Iran to Pakistan. loool

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  • Jan 12, 2012 - 11:50PM

    Fruits of Musharraf regime, thats because of Musharaf policies the US dared carryout these strikes just take a look at its era http://707monty.blogspot.com/2012/01/musharraf-please-have-mercy-on-poor.html

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  • Jan 13, 2012 - 12:32AM

    Thank you Pak govt and army

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  • USMANx
    Jan 13, 2012 - 1:26AM

    @cautious,

    You say Pakistan gives sanctuary to terrorists. Your India doesn’t just give sanctuary, it makes them governors (Modi & jagmohan), promotes them (jagdish tytler) and sets them free (Bajrangi) or arms them (Rashtriya Rifles) and gives them the freedom to terrorize without consequence (afspa).

    Terrorists killed 200 in Mumbai — Terrorists killed 130,000 in Kashmir.

    Many of the people that crossed the border into Pakistan from Afghanistan came here because the US did not or was not able to stop them from crossing the international lines. This does not mean that we gave them sanctuary. We talk to the same people they do since the days of the Soviets.

    clean up your own house before you come knocking on our house.

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  • A Questioning Pakistani
    Jan 13, 2012 - 3:39AM

    This is crazy!. I fail to understand why so many people are supporting this act. This is far from humanity. Innocent children are being injured and killed. Mind you!, your television and newspaper are not the most authentic source of information on the planet earth. We so ridiculously depend on the media as the most precise source of information.
    Mass murder/bombing can never be justified. Period.

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  • saif
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:21AM

    i used to love our army, but now i know they are playing a game with us, didnt they say they would shoot any more drones down

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  • Tony C.
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:24AM

    The Americans have resumed their murder tactics. They never learn.

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  • BS.Detecter
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:55AM

    @Cautious:
    You say we give sanctuary to the terrorists?

    Then how do you explain the loss of 36000 civilians and 3100 soldiers by the same entities who you blame we are protecting?.

    How do you explain the current operations going on in FATA?

    I’m really counting on you now

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  • usmanx
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:14AM

    @bsdetector,

    they are predictable… he is mixing L-e-T with Afghan Taliban with TTP.
    But in typically, indian fashion, won’t make a mention of mukthi bahini or RSS

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  • Taliban spokesman
    Jan 13, 2012 - 5:35AM

    Talibans are killed by drone strikes along with some colateral damage, i think its a win win given that the worst enemy of the region is being targeted effectively in the unreachable and inaccessable areas of the tribal belt.

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  • numbersnumbers
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:41AM

    @USMANx:

    SO, you say that “Many of the people that crossed the border into Pakistan from Afghanistan came here because the US did not or was not able to stop them from crossing the international lines(INTO PAKISTAN). This does not mean that we gave them sanctuary”!

    WOW, so much for Pakistani SOVEREIGNTY! So who gave these “people” permission to enter Pakistan! Did anyone check them for Passports and Pakistani Visas? NOT! They just get to wander about the FATA region with their AK-47s and assorted heavy weapons! SOUNDS LIKE SANCTUARY TO ME!

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  • numbersnumbers
    Jan 13, 2012 - 6:47AM

    @BS.Detecter:
    Please tell us that there are no “Militants/Taliban” in the FATA region, and that the Pakistani Governments Writ of State is enforced all through Pakistan! Please also tell us the difference between “Militants” and “Assets of the State!

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  • Soho
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:15AM

    @naughty pakistani:
    Yeh! Especially those berry trees are 100+ nuclear bombs!

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  • Soho
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:23AM

    @Pakistani Citizen:
    Don’t you get it? Pakistani army can’t do it themselves for two reasons. One monetary/resources and second and most importantly, ethnicity. It will strart a vivil war in pakistan. Therefore, we should appreciate America doing our job for us. Unless, you think of taliban as friends and not foe!

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  • Soho
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:24AM

    @Muhammad:
    In the race?

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  • Soho
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:29AM

    @rafi:
    @Kashif:
    Do you know what Baluchis want and why?

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  • Soho
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:32AM

    @rafi:
    It’s never a country but the people running it!

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  • Raj
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:09AM

    This is an internal matter of two Super Powers….USA and Pakistan..

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  • sajid
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:24AM

    Wait I thought the army chief said we are going to retaliate against drones after salala. What happened to that?

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  • sam
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:07AM

    Pakistan military wants drone attacks because it kills many bad boys which are not in their control.

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  • Ex H
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:47AM

    Most save havens are in Afghanistan
    NATO should do better job Iod sealing border
    Anyway you don’t defeat safe havens with bombs

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  • Samar
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:49AM

    @usmanx:
    LET is connected with the Afghan Taliban. They were found to reuse resources. Mukti Bahini does not exist anymore. LET does.

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  • MarkH
    Jan 13, 2012 - 2:01PM

    @BS.Detecter:
    Just because they kill people it doesn’t mean they aren’t safely living in your country. It means there aren’t sanctuaries for the citizens. The terrorists are just fine. That right there is a question that combines two unrelated things to make nonsense.
    Current operations? Easy. Pressure. They only act when pressure is high as they’ll get tagged as a terrorist state. They’ve done plenty of operations there. The problem is they’re selective. They pick and choose which results in… oh my, sanctuary for strategic assets!
    There ya go. I know you didn’t want me to answer it but the very questions and the name joke of a name you used were just too tempting.

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  • Darth Vader
    Jan 13, 2012 - 4:47PM

    Happy new Year 2012!!!!! Looks like fireworks just started…

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  • Jan 13, 2012 - 8:30PM

    the nation has to face the same situation who have never been an united nation and reason is tha fudel and lords still are governing the country and they are the followers of the qoute ” divide and rule “. its seems impossibe for pakistan to prove itself a sovergn country as there is no nation sense of owner ship , we excecised to blame the figure a traitor who creaat the country

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  • USMANx
    Jan 13, 2012 - 9:31PM

    @numbers – neither alexander, nor the anglo-indians nor the soviets have been able to control our western border. Pakistan kis khaith ki mooli hai? Most of our forces are on the eastern border so that Indian doesn’t encroach on more of our territory like siachen.

    the onus was on the US to close off the western border. visas on the afpak border? you know nothing of history or fata do you?

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  • Pupa dappa
    Jan 14, 2012 - 12:41AM

    Drones aren’t killing Pakistanis. They are killing the terrorists you either allow or cannot stop from inhabiting your land. And since Bin Laden was living right under your noses, what do you expect the world to feel about your nation and it’s rulers?

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  • numbersnumbers
    Jan 14, 2012 - 2:47AM

    @USMANx:
    So Pakistan does not conrol its own borders! That means (by your reasoning) that Iran and India are now responsible fo keeping people out of Pakistan on their respective shared borders with Pakistan! But then who is responsible for guarding Pakistans coastline, King Neptune???

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  • Iron hand
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:15AM

    To all those crying about “sovereignty,” what makes you think that Pakistan has sovereignty over FATA? How do you define sovereignty?

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  • Tony C.
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:45AM

    @Pupa dappa:
    Dear Pupa dappa,
    You do have it somewhat wrong. American drones are killing Pakistani people, including women and children. Further, you may recall that U.S. leaders openly boasted that they had created and equipped terrorist networks to help beat the Russians when they were occupying Afghanistan, After 9/11 America decided to put all the blame on the Taliban for allowing Bin Laden and his organization (American created) to carry out the deed, although the best they have come up with so far is that Saudi Nationals actually carried it out. They then illegally invaded Afghanistan, drove the Taliban over the Western border and created a big headache for Pakistan. The latest fiction from America is that they picked up Bin Laden in Pakistan and dropped his body in the sea, but have provided no proof that this is so. I do not know what the world knows about Pakistan. I would guess that like may other countries, the average person would not know where Pakistan is. What I do know is that most of my acquaintances deeply distrust the U.K./ U.S./ Israel alliance for carrying out its illegal and brutal tactics, which among various debaucheries, include torture, throwing grenades into peoples houses, indiscriminate bombing, and urinating on dead bodies.

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  • BS.Detecter
    Jan 14, 2012 - 8:41AM

    @MarkH:
    I hope you know that living in a country or particularly given shelter or sanctuary are two different things.

    There are lots of illegal Mexicans living the USA doing drug trade? Are they given shelter by US gov? No! Do they live in a hiding? YES! so is the case of these militants in Pakistan

    Look military operations are carried out by keeping in mind future results of it. We can’t just annihilate entire city by simply dropping nuke on them unless of course we become americans. What is important most is the change of mindset, living condition and development of educational sector. Putting them in rehab instead of fight is best option. Americans are doing now, the talk with the same enemy they have been fighting for over a decade.

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