Two US drones aimed at a compound and a motorbike in the Mir Ali tehsil of North Waziristan killed four militants on Thursday.
Security officials said that the first drone fired two missiles on militants riding a motorbike on the Khaisur Road in Heso Khel village. He added that within a span of a few minutes another drone fired two missiles at a nearby compound killing two more militants raising the total to four.
Soon after the first attack, tribesmen rushed to the area for immediate rescue. “The bodies of the militants were beyond recognition,” a local said, adding that the villagers wrapped the body parts of the militants in a cloth for burial. The militants were identified as members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
According to the locals, the second attack took place soon after the tribesmen were leaving the site of the first drone attack. The tribesmen said that the drone fired two missiles which struck a compound, killing two militants also identified as members of the TTP.
The villagers later pulled the mutilated bodies out of the rubble.
“The compound was completely destroyed, bodies of all those killed were badly mutilated,” an official said.
Thursday’s strike brings the number of militants reported killed in five drone strikes since January 3 to 34.
The covert strikes are publicly criticised by the Pakistani government as a violation of sovereignty but American officials believe they are a vital weapon in the war against extremists.
Few of the victims are publicly identified, but on January 3 officials said Mullah Nazir was killed in a drone strike in South Waziristan.
According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, between 2,627 and 3,457 people, including some 900 civilians, have been reportedly killed by US drones since 2004.
Bullet-riddled body found
Meanwhile, a bullet-riddled body of a man was found near the Datta Khel-Miranshah Road area, some 10 kilometres west of Miranshah.
According to locals, the hands and eyes of the man were tied with a piece of cloth. They added that the man was gunned down by unidentified assailants; however, his identity could not be ascertained. (WITH ADDITIONAL INPUT FROM AFP)
Published in The Express Tribune, January 11th, 2013.
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