North Waziristan: Drone strike kills 15 amid fraying Pak-US ties

Attack occurred hours after army warned the US to not violate sovereignty again.

Manzoor Ali May 07, 2011


A US drone strike in North Waziristan killed at least 15 persons and injured four others on Friday, putting further strain on Pak-US relations, which are already at their lowest ebb following Osama bin Laden’s killing in Abbottabad early Monday morning.

The drone attack occurred hours after a strong worded ISPR statement warned the US of dire consequences in case Pakistan’s sovereignty is violated again.

A senior security official, while requesting anonymity, said that the attack took place in the Datta Khel tehsil of North Waziristan Agency, when a US drone fired eight missiles on a building and a moving vehicle in the Dowatoui area close to the Pak-Afghan border.

“The attack killed at least 12 persons and injured five others,” the official said. He added that seven persons were killed in the moving vehicle.

Local sources, however, put the death toll at 15 and injured at four, and said that the missiles were fired at a hotel, a seminary and a moving vehicle. Another local source put the death toll at 15.

Local sources also said that four US drones fired at least eight missiles on the targets. The assault took place some 45 kilometres west of the agency headquarters Miran Shah.

It was not clear which militant group was targeted. However, Datta Khel is a stronghold of the Hafiz Gul Bahadar group, which is closely allied with the Haqqani network.

The attack comes at a time when Pak-US relations are going through a rough patch following the killing of al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a US Navy Seals raid on an Abbotabad compound on May 2.

An ISPR release issued after a Corps Commander meeting on Thursday asked the US to cut the number of its troops in the country and also warned against violation of the country’s sovereignty.

Defense analyst Colonel (retd) Khalid Munir was of the view that the US will not stop drone strikes inside tribal areas. Munir told The Express Tribune that there will be little reaction in the backdrop of the Abbottabad raid. He said that countering a drone was not an issue as an F-16 could easily do that, but it will invite strong reaction from the US.

“We could say to the US that enough is enough, but in that case our nation will have to face the consequences that will arise after refusal at a time when the US badly needs Pakistan’s help in its exit strategy,” Munir added.

At least 120 out of 127 drone attacks in 2010 were carried out in North Waziristan Agency, mostly in Datta Khel tehsil.

The last drone attack inside Pakistani territory was carried out on April 22 in Hassan Khel village of Spinwam tehsil in North Waziristan Agency, killing at least 25 people.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 7th, 2011.


harkol | 9 years ago | Reply @Adil If you see the movie, you'll realize that this conversation isn't what it seems. US/UK/Germany have been responsible for wars and massacres in many a country. But, lets not forget so have Many muslim kings - Mohammad Ghazni, Ghori, Ganghis Khan, Kublai Khan, Early Mughals were all very cruel empire builders. It is also true that despotism runs deep in most of muslim world and more muslims are killed by other Muslims than from outside. US is just using such disunity and inability of Islamic nations to govern themselves with representative regimes. Just like the British, who used the inability of Indian populace to transition to equitable society. But the reality remains - Terrorism is not a solution. As Gandhi said - An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
kodimirpal | 9 years ago | Reply In April 2011 alone, a drone attack killed 44 innocent people in Pakistan’s tribal region. The 30th April 2011, suspected drone strike was the 21st this year. There were 111 drone strikes in 2010. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan counted that 957 innocent civilians were killed in 2010. Do Americans refuse to call this terrorist attack? The word collateral damages has two meanings in American dictionary (i) necessary killings of the innocent by the US (ii) cold blooded killings by the insurgents against foreign occupation One scene of a drone attack: the carbonized bodies, burned so fully they could be identified by legs and hands alone, the bystanders sent flying like dolls through the air to break upon walls and stone, with shattered bones and sometimes-fatal brain injuries. Do Americans like you know about these cold blooded murders by drones Is it right for the U.S. to use unmanned aerial vehicles to function as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner in the decision to assassinate anyone designated as a “high value target” in faraway Pakistan or Afghanistan? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Please. Voices for Creative Nonviolence believes that standing alongside people who bear the brunt of our wars helps us gain needed insights. Where you stand determines what you see. Ideally, in a democracy, people are educated about important matters, and they can influence decisions about these issues by voting for people who represent their point of view. Is it right for the U.S. to use unmanned aerial vehicles to function as prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner in the decision to assassinate anyone designated as a “high value target” in faraway Pakistan or Afghanistan?
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