US drone strike kills six militants in Pakistan: Officials

Published: July 1, 2012
The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles on the compound in Shawal district. PHOTO: FILE

The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles on the compound in Shawal district. PHOTO: FILE

MIRANSHAH: A US drone attack on a militant compound in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal area killed six insurgents on Sunday, security officials said.

The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles on the compound in Shawal district, 50 kilometres (30 miles) southwest of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district, near the Afghan border, they said.

“Two missiles targeted the compound, killing six militants,” a security official told AFP.

“The strike destroyed the house and triggered a fire,” another official said.

“It was difficult to identify the bodies immediately as some of them were charred,” he said.

Washington considers Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt the main hub of Taliban and al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

A similar attack in the region on Tuesday killed five militants.

There has been a dramatic increase in US drone strikes in Pakistan since May when a Nato summit in Chicago could not strike a deal to end a six-month blockade on Nato supplies crossing into Afghanistan.

A drone attack on June 4 killed 15 militants in North Waziristan, including senior al Qaeda figure Abu Yahya al-Libi.

Islamabad is understood to have approved the drone strikes on Al-Qaeda and Taliban targets in the past. But the government has become increasingly vocal in its public opposition as relations with Washington have nosedived.

Both sides are at loggerheads over reopening Nato supply lines that Pakistan shut in fury on November 26 when US air strikes killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

An impasse continues as Islamabad insists on an American apology for their deaths and an end to drone strikes.

US officials consider the attacks a vital weapon in the war against extremists, despite concerns from rights activists over civilian casualties.

The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism has said that under President Barack Obama one drone strike has hit Pakistan on average every four days.

It said most of the 2,292 to 2,863 people reported to have died were low-ranking militants, but that only 126 fighters had been named.

It said it had credible reports of between 385 and 775 civilians being killed, including 164 to 168 children.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay last month called for a UN investigation into US drone strikes in Pakistan, questioning their legality and saying they kill innocent civilians.

The UN human rights chief provided no statistics but called for an investigation into civilian casualties, which she said were difficult to track.

She said UN chief Ban Ki-moon had urged states to be “more transparent” about circumstances in which drones are used and take necessary precautions to ensure that the attacks involving drones comply with applicable international law.

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (26)

  • Ashraf
    Jul 1, 2012 - 9:25AM

    We need more drones and more frequently. They are not taking out those murderous villians fast enough.


  • Jul 1, 2012 - 9:27AM

    Where is our dignity


  • Kamil Bangash
    Jul 1, 2012 - 9:30AM

    Who are these ‘security officials’ who somehow always know the exact number of ‘militants’ killed in such attacks? It seems that they are very well aware of all that goes on in the tribal areas, and are yet uninvolved bystanders!


  • Mirza
    Jul 1, 2012 - 9:55AM

    Even after the terrorists beheaded our soldiers still it is not our war and yet we do not like the NATO to do us a favor and protect us. When would we wake up and smell the coffee or keep blaming the others?


  • Ch Allah Daad
    Jul 1, 2012 - 10:06AM

    Each Drone strike enhances Imran’s popularity.Recommend

  • nikarish
    Jul 1, 2012 - 10:10AM

    Nice shot US! This means pak has less militantas to fight.


  • Jul 1, 2012 - 10:43AM

    According to the wikileaks, there is a mutual agreement between Pakistan and the US regarding the drone attacks that the US will continue with the drone attacks and Pakistan will keep on condemning them.


  • Jul 1, 2012 - 11:05AM

    “Two missiles targeted the compound, killing six militants,” a security official told AFP. The official knows in advance that they were militants because he has super x-ray vision.
    Then he says, “It was difficult to identify the bodies immediately as some of them were charred,” he said.
    This only proves they are scared to confront the Taliban in Afghanistan and prefer to blame it on Pakistan.
    How many innocent men, women and children have been slaughtered by these drones? How many times have they killed al Libbi? The real figure will never be known because of the difficult terrain and obfuscation of facts.
    The USA has enough knowledge of our capability to defend our borders. That is why they remained uncontested at Abbottabad and Salala. SalamsRecommend

  • fahimalavi
    Jul 1, 2012 - 11:18AM

    Good for USA. Bad for pakistani image that terrorist are hiding in North waziristan agency. World ranking and image has alot of impact on country investment and growth. A student wants to go to a university of higher ranking. Stock exchange dealers invest in a company of higher ranking to save their investments. People wants to buy a house in secure housing society. It is responsibility of pakistani government and army to eliminate terrorism if they want to make this a successful country.


  • Farooq khan
    Jul 1, 2012 - 11:33AM

    Could be 6 children… But we really don’t care anyway do we?


  • khan
    Jul 1, 2012 - 12:13PM

    its been 10 years but still we are unable to clear the mess within our borders.. our agencies and establishment is unwilling to take actions or is incapable. Hence we have to deal with this in daily basis.. thanks for clearing the mess US.


  • Jul 1, 2012 - 1:22PM

    Vienna,July 1,2012
    Drones are only violating the inapplicable clauses of the
    International Law.That gives Ban Ki Moon´s statement
    smooth sail on airspace.
    Taravadu Taranga Trust for Media Monitoring TTTMM India
    –Kulamarva Balakrishna


  • zeeshan sheikh
    Jul 1, 2012 - 1:53PM

    There will be a time when all nations will be attacking USA on whom USA waged a war.


  • Nakedtruth
    Jul 1, 2012 - 3:18PM

    @Azhar: where is your dignity when the Taliban behead Pakistani soldiers and kill people in suicide bombings ??? hypocrisy anyone?


  • Jul 1, 2012 - 3:53PM

    Shawal is a remote area of forested ridges and valleys,
    that spread out on both sides the borders and has long
    been known as safe havens of extremists ,from Pakistan,
    Afghanistan and beyond.


  • John
    Jul 1, 2012 - 4:49PM

    Drone strikes should be increased and should cover other parts of the country where the bad men are hiding in safe havens.

    The sad truth is that someone else has to clean our backyard and we spend so much on our defense forces.


  • mkz
    Jul 1, 2012 - 5:29PM

    Between 385 and 775 civilians killed!? Oh yeah, lets just leave a leeway of 300 people because we’re not sure about the exact numbers. Clearly the US gives a damn about how many innocent Pakistani civilians it kills. Recommend

  • balian
    Jul 1, 2012 - 5:36PM

    this is utter humiliation for all pakistanis !

    it seems the establishment and other government officials doesnt have the courage to stand against it.

    we really need A strong leader who have some dignity to stop these acts of terrorism !


  • Jul 1, 2012 - 5:44PM

    Are you running behind the peace,
    peace is not far from you,
    but you have been failed since years ,
    losing precious lives of all the sides.

    What the drones do,
    spread destruction in the forested ridges valleys,
    with innocent dead bodies,sign of counter productive
    why you support insurgents by this act.

    Move forward,offer apology,sit around the table,
    invite others formulate the matter and come to
    the right conclusion,solution on the table not in the
    war field.


  • Cautious
    Jul 1, 2012 - 6:21PM

    The two thing most of these reports have in common -1) the people providing the information about casualties are Pakistani security (who obviously don’t like America) & 2) the casualty reports almost always indicate that the victims are solely militants. So why do most Pakistani’s think that reports of militants being killed are false and that many/most of the victims are “innocent”?


  • Jul 1, 2012 - 7:45PM

    After every drone strikes the security officials declare that the so many militants have been killed.. security officials may also disclose their identity and back ground ( without which no one can brand a person militant.This will eliminate any doubt if any innocent is killed.and increase the credibility of the security officials’ statement. As the law enforcement agencies are unable to enforce the rule of law in tribal belt of Waziristan it has become safe heavens for mighty, be Taliban,Warlords, Even after so much hue and cry against drone strikes the same are still continuing and except condemning in the public the ruling coalition and security Agencies are mum indicates their implied approval on drone strikes,A cry against drone strikes is political game only to discredit the rivals.( otherwise the drone strikes are being carried out since long but hue and cry against these strikes are recent one/two years)Recommend

  • Jul 1, 2012 - 9:22PM

    UN chief Ban Ki-moon had urged states to be “more transparent” about circumstances in which drones are used and take necessary precautions to ensure that the attacks involving drones comply with applicable international law.”

    Art last,The United Nations opened its eyes broke the ice,The statement is considerable but not enough,pls do more.


  • Jul 1, 2012 - 9:53PM

    By killing six terrorists, US has saved six hundred innocent Pak citizens. Keep it up US.


  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Jul 2, 2012 - 1:08AM

    The International Journal of Human Rights
    Vol. 15, No. 4, May 2011, 605–626
    (Im)plausible legality: the rationalisation of human rights abuses in the
    American ‘Global War on Terror’ Rebecca Sanders∗
    Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

    American government memoranda authorising controversial interrogation, detention,
    and surveillance practices raise questions about the role of legality in shaping post-
    9/11 counterterrorism. Have policy makers ignored the law and declared a ‘state
    of exception’? Alternatively, have they attempted to covertly evade rules through
    ‘plausible deniability’? This article suggests that the ‘Global War on Terror’ has been
    characterised by a distinctive relationship between legality and security policy. Human
    rights violations have become official government policy, publicly justified and legally
    rationalised by top administration lawyers. Yet, for the most part, the law has not been
    overtly suspended in favour of unmitigated sovereign power. Rather, policy makers
    have pursued a strategic doctrine of ‘plausible legality’ aimed at securing immunity
    and legitimacy for abuses, an approach epitomised by the legalisation of torture.


  • Faiza
    Jul 2, 2012 - 1:34AM

    Did you guys ever notice why Shia Muslims and other non-Muslim minorities NEVER ( or at least in majority) condemn drone attacks? Because we know that our army is not just incapable but also supportive towards these terrorists and we thank the US for killing these barbarians who cut throats of Muslims every other day…and pity on majority of Pakistanis who would never take it the way disadvantaged minorities take it!


  • SomeoneFromSomewhere
    Jul 2, 2012 - 8:15AM

    boom boom boom!!
    and I have heard these guys talk a lot about GHAIRAT


More in KP & FATA