Spreading campaign?: 17 killed as drone targets Orakzai

Published: October 12, 2012

The death toll of 17 is the highest since August last year, when a strike killed 21 Taliban fighters.

HANGU: 

While US drone assaults have become a norm in Waziristan, a deadly strike was conducted in Orakzai Agency on Thursday – indicating that not only was the unmanned campaign not going to stop, it my actually spread.

In fact, the strike sets a number of ominous records.

At least 17 people were reported to have been killed in the latest strike – the second in less than 24 hours. On Wednesday, a US drone strike targeting another compound in North Waziristan killed five fighters, according to security officials. It is said that 20 others were injured in Thursday’s strike, and that those hit were mostly Afghans in a ‘militant compound’. The strike is only the second ever in Orakzai Agency since the US launched its drone campaign in Pakistan’s tribal belt – and the first in over three years. On April 1, 2009, 12 militants were killed when a US drone fired missiles on the suspected headquarters of the local Taliban chief in Khadezai area of Orakzai region

The death toll of 17 is also the highest since August last year, when a strike killed 21 Taliban fighters. An official of the Orakzai political administration told The Express Tribune that four missiles were fired on a compound belonging to Maulvi Shakirullah, a commander in the forces of Pakistani warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur. Bahadur is an ally of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani network blamed by the Americans for a string of high-profile attacks in Afghanistan.

An intelligence official requesting anonymity said the militants had sealed off the flattened building and were recovering bodies. The compound was located in the Bulandkhel area on the border between Orakzai and North Waziristan.

“Initial reports say 11 militants have died,” said political administration chief Khushal Khan in Orakzai district, adding that most of the dead were Afghans.

His deputy Rafiq Mohmand later put the toll at 17. “Several militants were wounded who died later,” Mohmand said. A security official confirmed the attack and the death toll.

The Foreign Office, meanwhile, lodged a fresh protest with the US over the continued drone attacks. The ministry spokesperson on Thursday said the US embassy was informed that drone strikes on Pakistani territory are a “clear violation of international law and Pakistan’s sovereignty.”

“These attacks are unacceptable,” said the foreign ministry spokesperson Moazzam Ali Khan, in a statement issued here. This is not the first time that Pakistan has condemned and lodged a formal protest with the US on the matter.

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP AND OUR CORRESPONDENT IN ISLAMABAD)

(Read: Scrutinising the drone war)

Published in The Express Tribune, October 12th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (31)

  • Fauzia
    Oct 12, 2012 - 3:40AM

    When Pakistani officials can’t go there after the attacks even to collect dead bodies or injured what sovereignty we are complaining about that gets violated???

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  • AFG
    Oct 12, 2012 - 4:08AM

    “These attacks are unacceptable.” What he meant was that attack on good Taliban (Haqqanis) is bad and attack on bad Taliban (TTP) is good.

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  • hasan
    Oct 12, 2012 - 4:14AM

    Good riddance. When our own politicians, agencies and military, who are suppose to protect us from outsiders, are snoring away in their palaces, making foreign trips with families and partying, this is what we can expect.

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  • Cautious
    Oct 12, 2012 - 4:46AM

    These militant compounds are hiding in plain sight — why doesn’t Pakistan do something about them?

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  • realitycheck
    Oct 12, 2012 - 4:48AM

    Thank you uncle sam for helping us get rid of those sickening monsters known as TTP. Keep pounding those savages!

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  • Majid
    Oct 12, 2012 - 4:56AM

    Shame on Imran Khan for putting the lives of so many on stake for his establishment backed political stunt.

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  • san
    Oct 12, 2012 - 5:17AM

    Foreign Office need to know Drones are not guessing by itself where to strike. Someone is sending green signal from ground and then the Holy drones do their holy business on ground. And that someone cannot be CIA, Mossad or Raw agent.

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  • Oct 12, 2012 - 5:31AM

    Today they are hitting Waziristan, tomorrow they will hit your home. I wish, I sincerely wish once they Drone Islamabad to unleash the inhumanity to every supporter of drone attacks. In past few years 168 children have been brutally murdered. The massacre doesn’t stops here.Recommend

  • Raw is War
    Oct 12, 2012 - 5:43AM

    good

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  • vasan
    Oct 12, 2012 - 5:59AM

    A drone a day keeps the militants away(dead)

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  • SaqibTahir
    Oct 12, 2012 - 6:09AM

    Thank you drones.

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  • Naeem Siddiqui
    Oct 12, 2012 - 6:15AM

    After Malala attack I don’t feel like condemning drone attacks.

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  • Oct 12, 2012 - 8:14AM

    @Naeem Siddiqui:
    Murder is murder, if you keep quite today dont complain when it reaches you.

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  • Not Hopeful
    Oct 12, 2012 - 8:17AM

    At least someone is standing up to these monsters

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  • Hammad
    Oct 12, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Majid: Feel some shame and don’t do scoring over their dead corpses. Do you know any of them who have been killed in this drone attack, do you have any evidence of their involvement in terrorism? If not then please don’t spread such nonsense.

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  • Sarah Amir
    Oct 12, 2012 - 8:37AM

    Thank you America for doing what those we pay a significant portion of our budget fail to do!

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  • Aik-Paki
    Oct 12, 2012 - 8:39AM

    Most of the above comments indicate the moral values of Pakistani society and elite. What a shame.

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  • Hassaan
    Oct 12, 2012 - 8:52AM

    STOP owning Malala for your politics and criticize every cruel activity. I’m praying for her day and night. You guys are trying to prove that all 17 people are terrorists. GET A LIFE. Try to understand the problem – You jazbati qoum.

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  • PS
    Oct 12, 2012 - 9:35AM

    @Rana Usman:
    No drone attacks would be needed if our own law enforcement was effective to counter and apprehend the terrorists (yes, we have terrorists and killers amongst us whether you admit it or not), thus avoiding the collateral damage (those unfortunate 168 children). That is why the civilized world long ago recognized the importance of laws and law enforcement as necessary for peaceful living. Alas, we have yet to reach that stage. Till such time that we keep flirting with notions of Jihad and continue poisoning our illiterate masses with ideas of great self righteousness and intolerance of anything contrary to our own beliefs, we will continue to live and die like animals.

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  • Pakistani
    Oct 12, 2012 - 9:41AM

    Malala was killed by US/CIA/BlackWater backed TTP. And thereafter a fierce campaign in media for Malala trying to nullifying the impact of Peace March and US trying to create opinion that Drones are right. So far they are successful because our spoon feeded “kids” who only see the world through the eyes of media are accepting all this blindly.

    Has anyone out there even tried to know who exactly killed in last night drone attack??? I know several families whose hundreds of “Malalas” has been killed in the Drones. But who cares??? Researching needs time and energy but reading the paper and commenting like a “Scholar” is sooo easy. Problem also lies with our traitor govt. who does not even publish the names of the drones victims.

    Wake up and see the larger perspective before its too late!

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  • Ashraf P
    Oct 12, 2012 - 9:43AM

    The drone campaign is ‘spreading’ because terrorists are spreading into interior Pakistan.

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  • Asad
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:05AM

    I am kind of confused what to comment, whether to support drones attacks or condemn them, as we are not taking action against terrorists, in fact government officials keep coming with the same statement again and again that they know who the terrorists are and where they came from and they will catch them soon but that never happened. Army is fighting against them yet not producing results. So who is interchange of the whole situation? Believe me I don’t know? But yes I do read almost every second or third day that “Drone attack has killed this much number of militants”

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  • destroytaliban
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:05AM

    “An intelligence official requesting anonymity said the militants had sealed off the flattened building and were recovering bodies”.Why not send another drone while the militants are collecting the bodies.

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  • Ali
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:18AM

    Isn’t it terrorism? are they sure drone doesn’t kill innocent like Malala ??

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  • William
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:22AM

    All that drone stikes do is kill those who have nothing to hide, while those who have something to hide simply get better at doing it. Eventually, the drones will be ineffective and the real targets will be very good at evading them.

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  • A J Khan
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:27AM

    Talibans had lost all the sympathy which was created . Those who donot spare innocent children and justify their gruesome acts deserve “DRONE ATTACKS”.

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  • AHSAN
    Oct 12, 2012 - 10:46AM

    All who are supporting drones are “TRAITOR” of our nation! Imran khan really well said that those who called themselves as “liberals” who support drone attacks are “SCUM OF SOCIETY”. Shame on all those!

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  • freeman
    Oct 12, 2012 - 11:03AM

    Most of the dead were Afghans
    Afghans residing on our land and fighting our security forces and our so called firebrand leaders are crying hoarse about sovereignty. tell me when have you given nationality to Haqqanis and Laden and company ?

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  • khaelbhamwer
    Oct 12, 2012 - 3:26PM

    One thing is sure the women in these tribal areas will never come up because of the culture there.

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  • jamwal alaa
    Oct 12, 2012 - 3:57PM

    Can these gerrorists give equal rights to girls like education?Recommend

  • ghattiman
    Oct 12, 2012 - 4:00PM

    These militants are destroying girls school all over fata and some areas of kp. Why should we sympatize with them.

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