North Waziristan raid: US drone kills 7 militants amid Pakistan offensive

Official claims four foreign fighters killed in missile attack.



ISLAMABAD/ BANNU:


Seven suspected militants were killed on Thursday morning when a US drone fired missiles on a car inside a compound in the Datta Khel tehsil of North Waziristan Agency. The strike came as Pakistan’s military was conducting a ground offensive in the same agency.


An official drawn from the security forces stationed in the area said two missiles were fired at a car as it was exiting a compound in the Macha Mada Khel area of Datta Khel tehsil. The official said the area was a militant stronghold, particularly of foreign militants. Four foreign fighters were reportedly killed in the strike.

The drone strike has not been confirmed yet, Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said on Thursday, during her weekly media briefing in Islamabad. “I have also seen media reports about the drone strike but have no confirmation as yet about the veracity of these reports,” Aslam said.

However, she reiterated Pakistan’s position on the CIA-led drone campaign.



“Our position on drone strikes is very clear. We have condemned these attacks. We have made it clear that these attacks are unacceptable, they violate Pakistan’s sovereignty,” the spokesperson added.

The last drone strike carried out in the tribal area was on June 18 and reportedly killed at least six militants in North Waziristan.

An Al Jazeera report quoted Major General Asim Bajwa, the director general of the Inter-Services Press Relations, as saying that drones "don’t help us."

More than 2,000 people have been killed in drone attacks since August 2008, in Pakistan’s tribal belt with people in the area and critics across the world saying that many civilians have been killed in these attacks.

On June 11, two successive drone strikes reportedly killed around 16 people and injured a few others in Miramshah, headquarters of North Waziristan.

This was the year’s fourth drone strike since December 25, 2013, when an unmanned craft targeted a site in the Qutab Khel area, on the outskirts of Miramshah subdivision, killing four suspected militants. 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2014.

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