Drones kill five militants in North Waziristan

Missiles fired on a compound in Hurmaz village of Mir Ali tehsil.


Our Correspondent October 11, 2012

MIRANSHAH: At least five foreign fighters were killed when several US unmanned aircraft fired missiles on a compound in Mir Ali tehsil of the North Waziristan Agency in the early hours of Wednesday, just days after an anti-drone rally in the region.

An official of the security forces said that the US drones fired four missiles on a compound of foreign fighters at around 4:00 am in Hurmaz village of Mir Ali tehsil killing the militants on the spot. He added that soon after the attack militants surrounded the destroyed compound, pulled the bodies and shifted them to an undisclosed location.

It was the first drone strike following Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Imran Khan’s rally against drone attacks in the Frontier Region (FR) Tank on October 7.

“Several US drones flew into the area before dawn and fired four missiles on a compound, killing five militants,” a security official told AFP.

Another security official in Peshawar confirmed the attack and casualties. However, the identities of those killed in the strike were not immediately clear.

Khan led thousands of supporters on a long drive from Islamabad to the edge of the nearby tribal district of South Waziristan in a two-day protest against US drone strikes.

The rally was the first from a mainstream politician to the tribal belt described by US officials as one of the most dangerous places on Earth. Khan defied official warnings and led emotional supporters and dozens of Western peace activists to Tank, the last town before the semi-autonomous area.

Khan insisted the march was a success. “We have succeeded in raising this issue. We came here to raise this issue; we came here to take a stand against drones.”

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

(WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP)

Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2012.

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