US drones kill 12 Taliban in Pakistan: Officials

By AFP
Published: January 6, 2013

Missile attack took place in Babar Ghar village in S Waziristan - stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

MIRANSHAH: US drones fired a volley of missiles at militant hideouts in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, killing at least 12 Taliban fighters near the Afghan border, security officials said.

The missile attack took place in Babar Ghar village in South Waziristan, a tribal district bordering Afghanistan which is a stronghold of Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants.

“US drones fired several missiles at two militant compounds. At least 12 militants have been killed and several others were wounded,” a security official in Miranshah told AFP under condition of anonymity.

The official earlier said eight militants were killed.

“There are members of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) among those who have been killed,” he said, adding that a close relative of TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud was among the dead.

“Most of the militants were from Punjabi Taliban group and a close relative of Hakimullah Mehsud,” the official said.

Another security official in the northwestern city of Peshawar confirmed the drone attacks and casualties.

Intelligence officials in Miranshah said that militants had died after US drones fired up to 10 missiles on three militant compounds in the Babar Ghar attack, but the security officials could not verify that account.

Residents said that militants had cordoned off the area and were looking for more dead or wounded in the debris.

US drone strikes last week killed a prominent warlord who sent insurgents to fight Nato troops in Afghanistan along with nine other militants in Pakistan’s tribal belt.

Mullah Nazir was the main militant commander in South Waziristan, part of the tribal zone where militants linked to the Taliban and al Qaeda have bases on the Afghan border. He is one of the highest-profile drone victims in recent years.

The covert US drone strikes are publicly criticised by the Pakistani government as a violation of sovereignty, but American officials believe they are a vital weapon in the war against militants.

A report commissioned by legal lobby group Reprieve in September estimated that between 474 and 881 civilians were among 2,562 to 3,325 people killed by drones in Pakistan between June 2004 and September 2012.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • Yoghurt lover
    Jan 6, 2013 - 1:58PM

    If you are not even sure about the number of dead, how can you be sure that they are all terrorists.

    But on second thought, whoever is killed by the US drones are innocent children and whoever killed by the Pak army are hardcore TTP militants.

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  • Sufi
    Jan 6, 2013 - 2:40PM

    Instead of drone please print the pictures of victims killed in cold blood

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  • Paki
    Jan 6, 2013 - 3:08PM

    How can anyone be sure that the terrorists were killed. There are innocents people living there for God’s sake. Please at least give some respect to those. Not everyone killed in drone attacks is a terrorist.
    Our Government is ignorant but Media shouldn’t be, period!

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  • zoro
    Jan 6, 2013 - 3:38PM

    Who were killed ??? Good Taliban or Bad Taliban ???

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  • Saleem
    Jan 6, 2013 - 4:37PM

    US drones doing a good job. God speed.

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  • Anti-Taliban
    Jan 6, 2013 - 5:09PM

    Kill them all

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  • sajid khan
    Jan 6, 2013 - 6:07PM

    @Yoghurt lover:
    all good and simple people are migrated to settled districts in that area only millitant left so dont confuse pakistanis

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  • Nauman
    Jan 6, 2013 - 6:36PM

    Great job…..now let’s mine that border and keep the Arab and Uzbek commanders in Afganistan.

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  • Javed
    Jan 6, 2013 - 6:55PM

    @Sufi:
    “Instead of drone please print the pictures of victims killed in cold blood”

    The reason pictures of those killed cannot be shown is the area is always cordoned off by the Taliban who then take away the bodies and don’t allow anyone near the site. What are hiding??

    Have you ever thought why the Taliban don’t use these events to highlight these called cold blooded murders and gain sympathy not just from Taliban sympathisers like you but from wider public as well………….. Ever thought about that!!

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  • bangash
    Jan 6, 2013 - 7:34PM

    Why are these drone opposers always silent and absent when innocent Pakistanis die in daily terror attacks.

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  • Jibran
    Jan 6, 2013 - 8:36PM

    @bangash:
    Because they are the political wing of the terrorists!

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  • Jibran
    Jan 6, 2013 - 8:37PM

    Thank you USA, for wiping these filthy animals off the face of the earth.

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  • Super Star
    Jan 6, 2013 - 9:06PM

    why are US drones killing TTP ? arent they supposed to be the US Proxies ?

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  • Umer
    Jan 6, 2013 - 10:10PM

    @Yoghurt lover:

    If you are not even sure about the number of dead, how can you be sure that they are all terrorists.

    I am sure if they were not terrorists their bodies would have been presented to the world instead of hidden away by their Taliban comrades.

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  • Raj - USA
    Jan 6, 2013 - 10:15PM

    @Javed:
    The talibans who cordon off the area and take away the dead bodies of the terrorists are proud to display the severed heads of 17 Pakistani soldiers and also calmly say that there are 17 heads here and more are coming. Still many in Pakistan support the talibans, overtly or covertly. Hamid Gul even now thinks that Pakistan shall control Afghanistan through Mulla Omar.

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  • Gratgy
    Jan 6, 2013 - 10:16PM

    @sajid khan
    all good and simple people are migrated to settled districts in that area only millitant left so dont confuse pakistanis

    Then why not carpet bomb the whole place, why use drones?

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  • John B
    Jan 7, 2013 - 12:28AM

    It is natural to feel sympathetic towards the terrorists when they are killed-it is called Stockholm syndrome.

    Everyone in PAK knows the S.and N. Waziristan are the operation base of Afg/ PAK Taliban and command is likely in Punjab. Since drones do not worry about cold, they will continue to warm the area throughout the season.

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  • Jan 8, 2013 - 8:16PM

    strong text* The stakholders have different stance on the matter
    being described vital weapon and the other hand describing attacks as
    sovereignty violation.
    The question before us is that who is on the right side.
    No doubt inter national law grant no permission to violate the sovereignty of any independent state but being committed *
    They protest and then silence till the other attack attack,It mean there is some weakness in the policy or hypocrisy in the protest
    According to the real scene as appeared in my mind is that when head of the government
    protest,the head of the state standing behind the aggressor waving hand with a slongan ”carry on” carry on”

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  • Jan 8, 2013 - 8:37PM

    global ;law is being violated,
    sovereignty of a independent state that is memeber of world institution,
    also being violated.
    But silent.
    Silent on the killing of innocents is also henious crime.

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  • Jan 10, 2013 - 1:03AM

    Drones make it easy to take a person’s life. Although some may be terrorists, they are human beings and deserve to be treated fairly. It shouldn’t be surprising that innocent people, including women and children are killed by these drone attacks. Is this an ethical form of warfare? Are these killings legitimized because it risks fewer American soldiers lives? If drone technology interests you, visit http://www.dronepolicy.org or http://www.facebook.com/dronepolicy

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  • Dr.A. K.Tewari
    Jan 21, 2013 - 6:18PM

    Only 1% chances of mistake is there by Drone attack that is why carpet bombing is avoided . Now Drone operation is being done by an international team of expert based at Newada desert enjoying full freedom to operate to control the international menace of terrorism .

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