Third drone strike in South Waziristan raises death toll to 19

Strikes come after Ilyas Kashmiri was killed in a US drone strike on Saturday

Express/Iftikhar Firdous June 06, 2011

SOUTH WAZIRISTAN: At least 19 people were killed when three separate drone strikes were fired in different areas in South Waziristan on Monday.

The first two strikes were 15 minutes apart. The first strike killed seven militants in the early hours in Shalam Raghzai, 10 kilometres (six miles) northwest of Wana, the district's main town. A second strike slammed two missiles into a compound in the Wacha Dana area, 12 kilometres northwest of Wana, Pakistani officials said. The third strike came a few hours later and two missiles targeted a vehicle in Dare Nishtar in Shawal killing four people.

Officials said initial reports suggested that some foreign militants may have been killed in the first attack and that Pakistani Taliban were targeted in the second strike, which came just 15 minutes later.

The strikes came after a US drone strike reportedly killed senior al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri on Saturday.

The Pakistani parliament has called for an end to US drone strikes and said there must be no repeat of the operation that killed bin Laden, despite the fact that President Barack Obama has reserved the right to act again.

The drone strikes are hugely unpopular among the general public, who are deeply opposed to the government’s alliance with Washington, and inflame anti-US feeling, which has heightened further after the Bin Laden raid.

But US officials insist that the missile strikes have severely weakened al Qaeda’s leadership and killed high-value targets including the former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud.

Missile attacks doubled in the area last year, with more than 100 drone strikes killing over 670 people in 2010, compared with 45 strikes that killed 420 in 2009, according to an AFP tally.

Most of the attacks have been concentrated in North Waziristan, the most notorious Afghan Taliban and al Qaeda bastion in Pakistan, where the United States wants the Pakistan military to launch a ground offensive as soon as possible.

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COMMENTS (28)

demosthenes | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend I was against the Drone strikes until I read all the positive comments by the community in the territories. I also researched who was getting killed and where. Drones may be the best weapon against the Taliban leaders but it's not effective against suicide bombers, The PK Army has got to follow up and close the training schools, camps and Mosques.. Regular schools need to be reopened and young men and women employed rebuilding infrastructure.Both the US and PK governments should spend less on war machines and more on rebuilding communities.
Mark | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend I'll give the people who hate the drones the answer to their problems. Tell your your morally-superior murderers to speak these words: We will stop killing people Problem solved. Since they're all so rational it shouldn't be a hard thing to accomplish. Save the world from the evil drones. Show us fools the light.
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