US drones kill 6 militants, injure 2 in South Waziristan

Published: June 3, 2012

Two US drones fired four missiles at a house belonging to militant commander of Mullah Nazir group in Wacha Dana town. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

PESHAWAR: Six militants and two others were injured when two US drones launched four missiles on a militant compound in the Birmal district, sub-division Wana in South Waziristan on Sunday, a security official said.

Four missiles were fired at the house of Malang, a local commander of the Mullah Nazir group in Wacha Dana, about 10km west of Wana near Pak-Afghan border.

“The militants had gathered for condolence of commander Malang’s brother Rehmanullah, who was killed in a US drone strike earlier on Saturday,” the official said.

“Commanders Malang and Gulam Khan were seriously injured in the attack,” said an official, adding that they were rushed to an undisclosed location by fellow militants after the strike.

Two other security officials confirmed the strikes. One intelligence officer put the toll at six dead.

Sunday’s attack in South Waziristan was the second in as many days and comes amid an upsurge in drone strikes in Pakistan since a Nato conference on Afghanistan in Chicago last month.

Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt the main hub of Taliban and al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

Pakistani-US relations went into freefall last year.

There were hit when a CIA contractor shot dead two Pakistanis and dented further by an American raid that killed Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and by US air strikes in November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

After the air strikes, Pakistan shut its Afghan border to Nato supplies and ordered US staff out of an air base reportedly used as a hub for drones.

Seven US drone strikes have been reported since May’s Chicago summit, which failed to secure a deal on resuming the supply lines.

In March, Pakistan’s parliament agreed to reset US relations on condition that Washington apologise for the troops’ deaths and end drone attacks on its soil.

Pakistan has been incensed by Washington’s refusal to apologise for the November air strikes and US officials have so far rejected Pakistani proposals to charge several thousand dollars for each alliance truck crossing the border.

Islamabad, which is understood to have given its tacit approval for attacks on al Qaeda and Taliban targets in the past, has become increasingly vocal in its opposition to the perceived violation of national sovereignty.

Despite Pakistani criticism US officials are believed to consider the drone attacks too useful to stop them altogether. They have argued that drone strikes are a valuable weapon in the war against Islamist militants.

According to an AFP tally, 45 US missile strikes were reported in Pakistan’s tribal belt in 2009, the year US President Barack Obama took office, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011.

The New America Foundation think-tank in Washington says drone strikes have killed between 1,715 and 2,680 people in Pakistan in the past eight years.

Reader Comments (21)

  • Ansari
    Jun 3, 2012 - 11:34AM

    How they know that all killed were “millitant”? Is everybody victimised by Drone attacks is bound to be “millitant”? they attacked the house, so what about children and women there? What about those who are “suspected millitants”? Is suspiscion is enough of a reason to get them killed? Where are all those NGOs and Human right commissions who chanted slogans for acid victims? Are they blind, deaf and dumb to any event which doesn’t invlove maligning islam and pakistan?

    Recommend

  • Lobe
    Jun 3, 2012 - 12:04PM

    I thought Sunday was a holiday.

    Recommend

  • Satan
    Jun 3, 2012 - 12:50PM

    @Ansari
    True.

    Recommend

  • wisdom
    Jun 3, 2012 - 1:05PM

    @Ansari:
    You find a ‘TTP militant’ is living in your friends house. What will be your reaction?. Your answer to this will quell your comment.

    Recommend

  • wisdom
    Jun 3, 2012 - 1:17PM

    Pakistan claimed this week that they have built a stealth cruise missile. Defense gets a whopping 643 billion for itself. Yet they cannot make/build a bullet or a missile to shoot down a drone. What can I say?

    Recommend

  • HASAN MEHMOOD
    Jun 3, 2012 - 1:35PM

    @Ansari:
    a. How they know that all killed were “millitant”?
    b. what about children and women there?

    If they are not militants, why are their bodies swiftly removed by TTP in almost all cases?
    As for the women / children, the militants should be man enough not to use them as shields. Especially when they consider their fight as Jihad and willing to die for their cause.As for the civilians, they should avoid militants like a plague and not touch them with a 10 yard pole.

    The days of mistaken bombings of Wedding processions and Madrassa children are long over. In any case the suspected collateral damage is only a fraction of that caused by our militants to inland targets with eyes wide open. Remember the drones are operated by a nameless / faceless mid ranking officer sitting thousands of miles away based on satellite image and ground intelligence which can be faulty at times. Contrast this with a suicide bomber who walks into a market, sees a majority of old men , women and children and still decides to blow them away.

    I SHALL NEVER UNDERSTAND WHY NO BODY PROTESTS AGAINST THE COLLATERAL DAMAGE DONE BY OUR BELOVED MILITANTS / JEHADIS.

    Recommend

  • ishtiaer hussain
    Jun 3, 2012 - 2:05PM

    Why do militants whisk away the bodies of those killed in a drone attack to an undisclosed place? They do this to ensure that the identity of those killed remains hidden so that the outside world has little idea of who actually got killed in those strikes. If these were innocent civilians there bodies would have been laying there even now.

    Recommend

  • rp
    Jun 3, 2012 - 2:06PM

    in flour everything gets crushed ….innocent ppl are harbouring them

    Recommend

  • wisdom
    Jun 3, 2012 - 2:38PM

    @Ansari: Still awaiting for your response.

    Recommend

  • Zaikam
    Jun 3, 2012 - 2:59PM

    So there should be a fair trial for Mr. Shakil Afridi but all these who are killed in these drone strikes don’t deserve that right!

    @ Wisdom: Don’t talk rubbish. Is it read on their foreheads they were TTP militants and what makes you certain that all those killed were ‘militants’?

    Recommend

  • Imran Con
    Jun 3, 2012 - 3:19PM

    @Zaikam:
    If it looks like a militant, acts like a militant and lives like a militant, it’s probably a militant. That’s why there are cameras on the drones. Recommend

  • wisdom
    Jun 3, 2012 - 5:41PM

    @Zaikam: Tell me of a militant that has a name TTP written on its forehead.

    Recommend

  • bangash
    Jun 3, 2012 - 6:13PM

    Good job by drones.

    Recommend

  • Jat
    Jun 3, 2012 - 7:47PM

    One more drone attack and Pakistan Army will…

    Recommend

  • Nikarish
    Jun 3, 2012 - 8:31PM

    Six less militants pak army has to fight.
    Great news.

    Recommend

  • mohammad kang
    Jun 3, 2012 - 9:00PM

    So much for” sovereign country” hue and cry. Do you need an apology from USA.Stop being hypocrat and tell what is true to your people.How long you can stretch these lies.Enough is enough

    Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jun 4, 2012 - 1:07AM

    In March, Pakistan’s parliament agreed
    to reset US relations on condition
    that Washington apologise for the
    troops’ deaths and end drone attacks
    on its soil.

    It would appear that the USA isn’t all that keen on “resetting relations” with Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Muhammad Zubair
    Jun 4, 2012 - 2:33AM

    @Ansari:
    In the first place there is no doubt about the identity of militants targeted in this attack. As the report itself acknowledges, it was carried out on Taliban Commander Malang’s house who was badly injured and taken to a safe place for treatment. For those who may not know Malang, let me tell you who is he. He is the right hand of the Commander Mullah Nazir of Ahmadzai Wazir from Wana Valley. Mullah Nazir is the ‘good Taliban’ in the books of Pak Army establishment. Secondly, militants no more keep their women and children in places where they hide or live. They have learnt it over the years. But even if they do, what about the children and women killed in thousands and thousands by these terrorists in suicide and other bombings in Afghanistan and mainland Pakistan over the years? Is their blood thinner than the women and children of terrorists. Why should we shed tears over that?

    Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 4, 2012 - 8:16AM

    Thanks a drone!

    Recommend

  • Michelle Hussian
    Jun 4, 2012 - 1:14PM

    I think drones are killing those terrorists who are determined to destroy Pakistan too ( as USA says )….BUT on the other hand if the drones are killing ONLY MILITANTS , why does USA/CIA not release the videos of these missile strikes….. because as they are remotely monitoring all the operation by video so they have video of all the operation ?????????

    Recommend

  • Michelle Hussain
    Jun 4, 2012 - 1:20PM

    “”These killings are, in reality, summary executions and widely regarded as potential war crimes by international lawyers – including the UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Philip Alston. The CIA’s now retired counsel, John Rizzo, who authorised drone attacks, himself talked about having been involved in ”murder”.
    A decade ago, the US criticised Israel for such ”extrajudicial killings” but now claims self-defence in the war against al-Qaeda. But these are attacks routinely carried out on the basis of false intelligence, in countries such as Pakistan where no war has been declared and without the consent of the elected government.”"

    Recommend

More in KP & FATA