Attacks resume: Drone strike kills six in North Waziristan

Officials say resumption of strikes does not signal an improvement in frayed Pak-US relations.


Iftikhar Firdous January 13, 2012

MIRANSHAH: At least six people were killed and two others were injured on Thursday when an unmanned US drone fired missiles at a vehicle in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan.

The strike took place in the New Aadda area, officials said while confirming the strike. The identities of those killed were not immediately known.

An official claimed those targeted were foreigners, possibly from Turkmenistan, but did not divulge further.

Sources from the area said that two loud explosions were heard, after which the vehicle was completely destroyed.

While speaking to The Express Tribune, a resident of the area said that “the vehicle had stopped for some reason before it was destroyed by the drone attack.”

The strike comes two days after a similar attack killed four militants in North Waziristan, marking the resumption of the unacknowledged US drone campaign, paused after a November 26 Nato cross-border attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The last drone strike before Tuesday’s was on November 17.

Resumption of strikes

The resumption of drone strikes against militant targets in Pakistan does not signal an improvement in deeply frayed relations between Washington and Islamabad, US officials and experts said on Wednesday.

Officials insisted there was no formal decision to suspend drone attacks after the November 26 attack, and added that strikes were based on the availability of targeting intelligence and suitable flying conditions.

But one former US official did not discount the possibility the recent lull in drone attacks might have been calculated, at least in part, to “cool tempers” in Pakistan following the November incident.

Officials in Washington said the militants targeted in Wednesday’s air strike were believed to be ‘foreign fighters’ of Arab and possibly Uzbek descent.

US and Pakistani officials also said it was extremely unlikely the United States gave Pakistani authorities advance notice of Wednesday’s drone strike, although Pakistan may have been notified either at the time of, or shortly after, the attack.

The officials added that many US counterterrorism experts inside the government believed drone strikes must continue at a fairly regular pace if the United States is to keep al Qaeda and other Pakistan-based militants off balance and prevent them from rebuilding their strength.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 13th, 2012.

COMMENTS (55)

BS.Detecter | 9 years ago | Reply

@MarkH: I hope you know that living in a country or particularly given shelter or sanctuary are two different things.

There are lots of illegal Mexicans living the USA doing drug trade? Are they given shelter by US gov? No! Do they live in a hiding? YES! so is the case of these militants in Pakistan

Look military operations are carried out by keeping in mind future results of it. We can't just annihilate entire city by simply dropping nuke on them unless of course we become americans. What is important most is the change of mindset, living condition and development of educational sector. Putting them in rehab instead of fight is best option. Americans are doing now, the talk with the same enemy they have been fighting for over a decade.

Tony C. | 9 years ago | Reply

@Pupa dappa: Dear Pupa dappa, You do have it somewhat wrong. American drones are killing Pakistani people, including women and children. Further, you may recall that U.S. leaders openly boasted that they had created and equipped terrorist networks to help beat the Russians when they were occupying Afghanistan, After 9/11 America decided to put all the blame on the Taliban for allowing Bin Laden and his organization (American created) to carry out the deed, although the best they have come up with so far is that Saudi Nationals actually carried it out. They then illegally invaded Afghanistan, drove the Taliban over the Western border and created a big headache for Pakistan. The latest fiction from America is that they picked up Bin Laden in Pakistan and dropped his body in the sea, but have provided no proof that this is so. I do not know what the world knows about Pakistan. I would guess that like may other countries, the average person would not know where Pakistan is. What I do know is that most of my acquaintances deeply distrust the U.K./ U.S./ Israel alliance for carrying out its illegal and brutal tactics, which among various debaucheries, include torture, throwing grenades into peoples houses, indiscriminate bombing, and urinating on dead bodies.

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