Drone strike kills four suspected militants in North Waziristan

Published: April 29, 2012

The missiles reportedly struck a school building in the area. Casualties are feared.

PESHAWAR / ISLAMABAD: A US drone strike killed four suspected militants in North Waziristan tribal on Sunday, intelligence officials and witnesses said, the first strike in almost a month.

The remotely piloted aircraft targeted an abandoned girls’ high school building used by militants in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, the officials and witnesses said. Three militants were wounded.

“We intercepted internal conversation of the militants asking for arranging four coffins for the slain men in the drone attack. We don’t know about their identity and nationality but those living in the girls’ school were mostly Arabs,” a security official said.

A local resident, Haji Niamat Khan, said more than two dozen militants were living in the school when it was attacked.

The last drone strike, on March 30, killed four suspected militants and wounded three in the same town of Miranshah, a known hotbed for Pakistan Taliban and foreign militants.

The strikes are a major stumbling block in restoring ties with Washington, badly frayed after an inadvertent cross-border attack by Nato aircraft on November 26 last year killed 24 Pakistani troops.

The United States says the strikes in Pakistan’s unruly northwestern tribal regions are very accurate and there is minimal collateral damage.

In a recent interview, Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said that although Pakistan had demanded an immediate cessation of drone attacks, the US has not complied.

Imran Khan condemns drone strike

While condemning the recent drone strike, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan called upon the government to respond to this assault in accordance to the parliamentary resolutions against drone attacks.

“Drone attacks are a violation of the international law and Pakistan’s sovereignty. We have to get out of this so-called war on terror, which has killed over 40,000 Pakistanis. This war is not our war and it is destroying the very fabric of the country,” Khan stressed.

Reader Comments (66)

  • Baloch
    Apr 29, 2012 - 5:19PM

    So, who is the terrorist? who is against the education?

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  • Roflcopter
    Apr 29, 2012 - 5:27PM

    now they’re killing innocent children in school

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  • Apr 29, 2012 - 5:46PM

    Allah curse on those who support drone strikes, another lesson to our commanders and politicians who are in love with US, for god sake do not resume Supplies and shoot these birds, Allah is watching u and u will be held accountable on the day of judgment

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  • Apr 29, 2012 - 5:48PM

    Stop siding with assassins, get out of this fake war on terrorism, US is the real terroristRecommend

  • Anjaan
    Apr 29, 2012 - 5:48PM

    What stops Pakistani army to shoot down the drone …… no Jihad here ?Recommend

  • A.Raja Rao
    Apr 29, 2012 - 5:56PM

    Why does not Hina Rabbani Khar order the drones to be shot down? To the best of my knowledge the drones fly at quite low speeds and it should not be difficult for the all-powerful Pakistan army and air force to shoot them down.

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  • Apr 29, 2012 - 5:57PM

    Now where are the liberals hiding, what makes them think that their families wont join other forces to take revenge of their children death, They are not terrorists

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  • Mj
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:04PM

    @Pakistan politics:
    @Baloch:
    @Roflcopter:
    Maybe your militant friends should not hide in schools. Let’s wait for the details to come out before jumping to conclusions.

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  • curious outsider
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:05PM

    Dawn is reporting it as an ABANDONED school, and the attack killed two militants. Maybe the same type militants that force girls’ schools closed. Dawn also makes no mention of civilian casualties.

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  • peace seeker
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:09PM

    Never thought US could go that low in enemity against muslims that even the school childern would be killed through drones.this strike is a slap on the face of so called pakistani liberals who keep preaching on face book and twitter that only millitants are being targeted by drones.this strike has proven that terrorism is caused by US barbarism.talibans are only victim of CIA terrorism.

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  • curious outsider
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:10PM

    The other side of the sovereignty-coin requires a nation-state to take responsibly for what goes on within its borders.

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  • HollyCow
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:11PM

    I didn’t see any children killed. Bravo US please continue to rid us of these terrorists.

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  • Roflcopter
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:15PM

    @Mj, “Maybe your militant friends should not hide in schools” “Let’s wait for the details to come out before jumping to conclusions.” Oh the irony.

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  • curious outsider
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:19PM

    From Dawn:

    US drone strike kills two in Miramshah

    Two missiles hit an abandoned girls schools in the town of Miramshah in the North Waziristan tribal region, killing two unidentified militants.– AFP (File Photo)

    PESHAWAR: Pakistani intelligence officials say a US missile strike in northwest Pakistan has killed two militants.

    The officials say two missiles hit an abandoned girls schools in the town of Miramshah in the North Waziristan tribal region, killing two unidentified militants.

    Sunday’s strike comes as the US is trying to rebuild its relationship with Pakistan, which opposes the missile attacks.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

    The Dawn article that says its an abandoned school, and that the attack killed two militants, cites Pak intel officials.. – Who does this article cite? Look closely – no one but the ET.

    Shame on you that jump to conclusions.

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  • Mj
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:23PM

    @Roflcopter:
    It was intentional. I am glad you picked it up. Disregarding the irony, which is more likely: that America would target a school full of children, or that it’s an abandoned building that is now being used by militants?

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  • Bhindian
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:30PM

    @Mj, sure ;), as for the school, I bet it was being used by “suspected” militants. oh and it’s not like US has not deliberately killed childrens before.

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  • Roflcopter
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:35PM

    Bhindian, true lol

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  • FactCheck
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:40PM

    It helps to read more than the Headline. What does “abandoned girls school” mean to those who is screaming against killing Terrorists.

    As long as Pakistan refuses to take action against Terrorists, drone attacks will continue. Go ahed shoot a drone down and see what happens. Hell, why not shoot all of them down?

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  • curious outsider
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:42PM

    Make that four militants (not school kids)! Look how the title of this article has changed. It used to say “US drone strike targets school in N Waziristan” – now it reads “…four suspected militants…”

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  • syed
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:46PM

    uffffffff……..what to do with u peoples???………………….THESE SCHOOLS are closed since years …………… and the militants used to live in their………its not the attack on schools …..Recommend

  • Bhindian
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:48PM

    @FactCheck, “suspected militants” doesn’t really help. Even you could be a suspected militant

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  • Apr 29, 2012 - 6:49PM

    @curious outsider:
    Who decides it’s militant? Drone operator?

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  • curious outsider
    Apr 29, 2012 - 6:53PM

    @moise: according to reporting that actually uses sources, it apparently looks like “Pakistani intelligence officials” are the ones making that determination. I refer you back to the Dawn article, and now the business recorder.

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  • Bhindian
    Apr 29, 2012 - 7:10PM

    @curious outsider, a “suspected” militant is a “suspected” militant whether “Pakistani intelligence officials” are the ones making that “determination” or US officials.

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  • Cautious
    Apr 29, 2012 - 7:10PM

    Justice delivered – the Pakistanis don’t lift a finger to stop the Taliban from shutting down schools for girls but the American’s can at least prevent them from using them as a military base.

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  • curious outsider
    Apr 29, 2012 - 7:16PM

    @bhindian: you asked who made the determination, and then offered a suggestion. I was simply pointing out to you that the answer to that goes beyond your suggestion. As this story unfolds, it looks like eye witnesses on the ground are also shedding some light on the circumstances. Look at the updated version of this very story.

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  • curious outsider
    Apr 29, 2012 - 7:18PM

    @Bhindian: please accept my apologies for last post. I confused your comments with those of moise. This was unintentional.

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  • junaid
    Apr 29, 2012 - 7:20PM

    Now this is really not acceptable. . .American never care about any law, any humanitarian rights.

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  • ishrat salim
    Apr 29, 2012 - 7:21PM

    These human intel are provided by Pakistanis….so why Pakistanis not confront these militants by themselves…? if these militants are taknout by the Pakistanis…then we can press the Americans to stay away…we ourselves are providing opportunity to the Americans to use such lethal means….but I can assure you…if we do the same…more civilian casualties can be expected….& our authorities realises this….so they are killing 2 birds with one stone…use Americans & also put the blame on the Americans publicly….Recommend

  • curious outsider
    Apr 29, 2012 - 7:32PM

    @ishrat salim: your post is brilliant! very insightful. If what you say is true, it sounds like there is short-term benefit for Pak with such an approach – but won’t it come at the cost of damaging an important long-term relationship between Pak and U.S.?

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  • ather khan
    Apr 29, 2012 - 7:40PM

    shame on govt and army for not protecting our civilians. the deads must be civilians as americans will not kill their own strategic assets to destablize pakistan.

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  • Doosam
    Apr 29, 2012 - 8:03PM

    It’s pretty obvious what these militants do; first they bomb the schools in KP province forcing the children out and then occupy those same buildings to plan their violent activities. The US is doing exactly what the Pak army should be doing. And it is Pakistan’s war, it is in Pakistan’s own interest to get rid of these extremists and their extremism, when will be realize this? stop living in denial and in conspiracy theories

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  • Jat
    Apr 29, 2012 - 8:40PM

    Grossman went back empty-handed. This is the American way of responding.

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  • bangash
    Apr 29, 2012 - 8:53PM

    Taliban have destroyed hundreds of girls schools in KP and FATA but I have yet to see rage against that expressed on ET. Why is US attacking militants so radioactive ?

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  • Usman
    Apr 29, 2012 - 9:04PM

    Killer Killer ,USa is killer…
    Invader Invader ,USa is Invader…
    Terrorist Terrorist ,USa is Terrorist…

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Apr 29, 2012 - 9:24PM

    Can ET shed some light on why and when this girls school was abandoned? When is school for these girls going to reopen or additional strikes are required to make these illegal occupier evaporate? “abandoned girls school” tells a lot about the future economic activity in this area.

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  • Raj - USA
    Apr 29, 2012 - 9:32PM

    News item clearly states:

    “We intercepted internal conversation of the militants asking for arranging four coffins for the slain men in the drone attack. We don’t know about their identity and nationality but those living in the girls’ school were mostly Arabs,” a security official said.

    A local resident, Haji Niamat Khan, said more than two dozen militants were living in the school when it was attacked.”

    Militants are asking for four coffins for slain men, mostly Arabs and local resident Haji Niamat Khan confirms two dozen militants were living in there.

    **Patriotic Pakistanis commenting against the American action are in fact the hidden enemies of Pakistan.

    Drone strikes and the missiles are not cheap. Also the intelligence gathering also costs lot of money and resources. Why would USA waste their money on killing innocent children and also make their intelligence gathering look amateurish ?**

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  • Khan
    Apr 29, 2012 - 9:43PM

    @Pakistan politics:

    Now where are the liberals hiding

    Now half baked potatoes will start screaming again .. What does Liberals have to do with these stories? Liberalism has nothing to do with your religion .. any one can be a liberal even a pious Muslim or Christian or Atheist.
    Who is a liberal?
    1. Favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.
    2. Noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.
    3. of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.
    4. Favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.
    5. Favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression: a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers.

    These people have destroyed thousands of schools in our area but none of you seem to be interested in that but when it comes to US eliminating these criminals all of you start jumping in your seats … Just a couple of days ago there was an attack in KPK on a school where young children died but most of you would rather want this cancer to eat away our country than appreciate someone’s effort to cleanse this mess.

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  • salman
    Apr 29, 2012 - 9:54PM

    i dont understand the sick mindset of these people who support drone strikes. Even if their were militants in the school it is our army who should be taking action not NATO forces. It is our country to protect we cant just allow any other country to just violate.

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  • HollyCow
    Apr 29, 2012 - 10:51PM

    @salman:
    Because our army refuses to, or is unable to. Do er have armed drones in our arsenal? Do you think out antiquated air force had the precision to deliver ordinance that kills only terrorists? No it doesn’t. So let’s applaud the American tax payer for trying to deliver us from this evil. Thankyou for fighting our war, Ametica.

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  • Osama
    Apr 29, 2012 - 10:53PM

    “suspected militants”…. Express Tribune,, shame on you for protecting foreign interest….

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  • gp65
    Apr 29, 2012 - 11:12PM

    @Moise: “Who decides it’s militant? Drone operator?” The drone operators act on intelligence received from local people. Incidentally if you had read the entire article, you would have also read the following :

    ““We intercepted internal conversation of the militants asking for arranging four coffins for the slain men in the drone attack. We don’t know about their identity and nationality but those living in the girls’ school were mostly Arabs,” a security official said.
    A local resident, Haji Niamat Khan, said more than two dozen militants were living in the school when it was attacked.”

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  • Parvez
    Apr 30, 2012 - 12:22AM

    In Musharraf’s time when the first drone was to be fired, it should have been stopped.
    Today they will not stop and you do not have what it takes to make them stop. – end of story.

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  • elementary
    Apr 30, 2012 - 12:29AM

    @Mj: For the benefit of naives like me perhaps you would also like to tell us the final military objective/Goal of these strikes ,achieving which we will finally see the end of these abominable strikes which give you the opportunity to display your exraordianry prowess and understanding of miiltary warfare and interstate policies.

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  • WoW
    Apr 30, 2012 - 1:07AM

    @Pakistan politics:
    Even the establishment has become Liberal by granting India MFN.

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  • American
    Apr 30, 2012 - 1:40AM

    @peace seeker:
    @Roflcopter: The report says “abandoned girls high school”.
    Why was it abandoned…? Because Pakistani Militants don’t want girls/women to be educated.
    Are you so blinded by your hatred for America that you cannot see the damage by Terrorists ?

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  • How?
    Apr 30, 2012 - 1:41AM

    No one controls North Waziristan. Your esteem army has not exerted its power to take complete control of the agency due to justifiable reasons. Can anyone inform my poor soul who has given visas to Uzbeks, and Tajiks living there? So NW is no man’s land.

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  • rk
    Apr 30, 2012 - 1:48AM

    @Roflcopter:
    there is school on sundays…??

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  • Raj - USA
    Apr 30, 2012 - 2:46AM

    @elementary:
    “For the benefit of naives like me perhaps you would also like to tell us the final military objective/Goal of these strikes ………………….”

    Your basic assumptions are wrong. There is no Military Objective. Only purpose is achieving the Moral Objective. It is the expectation that one should have a moral obligation to wipe out the terrorists from its land. It may also be a religious obligation as Pakistan sees everything from the religious angle although no terrorists from any minority religion were ever found to be involved in such terror activities within Pakistan. After all, the war on terror started over 10 years ago. Pakistan undertook certain responsibilities and has failed to deliver on those and in fact has been working against the promises it has made. Drone strikes started only 4-5 years ago. Why were the terrorists not eliminated before US started its first Drone strike ? In its quest for extraterritorial objectives, Pakistan has ceded its own land to the terrorists. Nationalism and Patriotism are seriously lacking amongst many, particularly the religious parties, and even in the Army that probably has more of its personnel in commercial ventures and political arena than in the battlefield.

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  • American
    Apr 30, 2012 - 2:53AM

    @rk:
    There is no school. On any day.

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  • curious outsider
    Apr 30, 2012 - 3:10AM

    In defense of many of the earlier postings: the details of this story emerged over several hours, and the article was updated with new information and details. Even the title of this very article changed during the unfolding. This taught me an important lesson about reading comment threads. Sometimes, what you read is not what people who had left earlier comments were reading at the time they commented. I hope this information helps some of you put the earlier comments into context.

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  • waqar ali
    Apr 30, 2012 - 3:29AM

    how do you know that they are terrorists………….hnnn??

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  • ay
    Apr 30, 2012 - 4:39AM

    Another Drone and our officials still seeking apology.
    What a shame.

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  • Apr 30, 2012 - 6:28AM

    @gp65:
    CIA definition of miltant is anyone having a gun. In tribal areas everyone carries a gun for cultural and security reasons. This is the reason there is no name of supposed militants in news reports because there is not intel just point and shoot. If there is intel, you put them in court. It is sad to see drone attack enthusiasts justifying extra-judicial murders.

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  • Ash
    Apr 30, 2012 - 6:32AM

    So what are terrorist doing in girls school?

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  • motasim billah
    Apr 30, 2012 - 7:30AM

    army and government will never shoot down drones because we are the slave of america and how pakistan army dare to shoot down the drones ……….when army see american aircraft they salute to it so how it possible dear…….we are slave nation…………..no thinking nationally and internationally ……….sorry to you ………….sorry to those family who’s relatives are killed in drones………….

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  • Sher khan
    Apr 30, 2012 - 8:24AM

    Us has refused to give drone tech to Pakistan. Therefore they don’t trust Pakistan. Drone strikes r only happening in north waziristan, where there is no army no govt writ. Anyone’s guess is as good as mine, US is operating unilaterally and our news papers r working against Pak army by saying Pakistani intelligence is involved

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  • American
    Apr 30, 2012 - 3:19PM

    @Moise:
    Please let us know the name of a “single” terrorist that has been judicially convicted and put behind bars in Pakistan.
    Either law & order doesn’t exist, OR there are no terrorists in Pakistan, and therefore the rest of the world is in a conspiracy against Pakistan.
    As they say in USA….wake up and smell the coffee man !

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  • ishrat salim
    Apr 30, 2012 - 5:13PM

    Curious outsider…thnx…no it will not..bcz what history has shown is that USA is only interested in its own interest & hv abandoned those countries ( refer to post Russian exit from Afghanistan )after ” what they think ” American interest has been served even though at enormous cost to human lives & economy ( refer to any American war conducted anywhere in the world – from WWII till date, hv they won in any war ?)..to confront the Americans or for that matter any country…it is we who has to learn to stand on our feet like Iran…only then even Allah swt is prepared to help….look around & see if we are prepared to live a simple life ? according to Quran & Sunnah….the day we understand this, everything will fall in its place….believe me.We hv to change our mindset that ” nothing will move without American help “..this notion is wrong & the nation of Iran & China have proved it all….Allah swt helps those who helps themselves….it is the weakness of our ” Iman ” that has brought this mess & leaders upon us…yet we are ignorant & doubts that we cannot ” survive ” without American assistance ” in the long run ? it is unfortunate if we think that way….may Allah swt give us the courage to bring change in our lives according to Quran & Sunnah…Recommend

  • elementary
    Apr 30, 2012 - 11:12PM

    @Raj – USA: Only purpose is achieving the Moral Objective.

    Achieving Moral objective through Military means is certainly a very attainable and moral target I guess.

    There will always be bearded men with a gun in abandoned buildings or mountains of FATA.;So on with the Drones till 3015.

    But for the men who derive sadistic pleasure( intellectualizing their stance) from killings of people, war could have been abolished from the surface of the earth.

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  • gp65
    May 1, 2012 - 2:19AM

    @Moise: “CIA definition of miltant is anyone having a gun. In tribal areas everyone carries a gun for cultural and security reasons. This is the reason there is no name of supposed militants in news reports because there is not intel just point and shoot. If there is intel, you put them in court. I”

    I disagree with you on 3 counts:
    1. It is not just CIA but your own security people who are saying that this school was occupied by Uzbek and Tajik militants (please read the full article).
    2. In military operations conducted by Pak army, there are bombings from helicopter which are definitely not precise. But drone technology is different, it pinpoints the target. Usually the only civilian fall-out during drones (and there were none in this strike) are those family members used by militants as human shields.
    3. The notion that if there was intelligence they should be presented to the court , stretches credibility. Your own ISI has had no success in getting conviction against militant in your courts. They said that to justify their stance during Missing Persons case. In this case, even the arrest is difficult since US boots are not allowed i Pakistan and Pak army does not want to arrest Afghan Taliban and Haqqanis, so who will arrest them and present them to the court?

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  • May 3, 2012 - 7:47AM

    @American:
    Who do you think ran away when there was a prison break of 500 prisoners recently?

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  • May 3, 2012 - 7:54AM

    @gp65:
    Catch them and put on trial. This is the only just way. Trigger happy drone operator who is judge, jury and executioner has no check and balance, if this is not barbarism, I don’t know what is.

    I leave you with the quote to ponder upon:

    The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do —— The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, p. 51.

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  • American
    May 3, 2012 - 3:08PM

    @Moise:
    Who ran away ?
    – Guys court martialled
    – Guys caught in petty crimes like stealing, and serious crimes like murder.
    I ask you again, and this time don’t evade:
    “Name one guy that has been charged with terrorism, and convicted in a proper court”.
    – For convicting a confessed murderer that committed a murder (of Punjab Governor) openly in front of witnesses, the judge had to leave the country and become incognito within 24 hours after passing judgement.
    AND you still harp on bringing terrorists to justice and trial ?

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  • May 4, 2012 - 11:23AM

    @American:
    Ramy Zamzam
    Waqar Khan
    Umar Farooq
    Aman Hassan Yemer
    Ahmed Minni

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  • May 4, 2012 - 11:26AM

    @American:
    Prison break: Taliban(TTP, Raymond Davis employer backed) attack Bannu jail, nearly 400 inmates escape http://tribune.com.pk/story/365064/prison-break-militants-attack-bannu-jail-over-900-inmates-freed/

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