US drone strike kills four in South Waziristan

Published: September 29, 2014
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A file photo of a drone. PHOTO: AFP

A file photo of a drone. PHOTO: AFP

WANA / ISLAMABAD: At least four suspected militants, including two foreigners, were killed in a US predator strike in South Waziristan Agency, while in neighbouring North Waziristan, where Operation Zarb-e-Azb has been ongoing since mid-June, over two dozen suspected terrorists were killed in fresh air strikes on Sunday.

Security officials said US pilot-less aircraft targeted a compound in Karezai Pull village near Wana, the administrative headquarters of South Waziristan, which used to be the stronghold of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan before they were routed in a military operation in 2009.

The strike happened when two foreign militants disembarked from a vehicle in front of the compound where they were received by another two men. Intelligence officials and three Taliban fighters claimed that the dead included two Arab militants and their local cohorts.

It was the second drone strike in less than a week. At least 10 suspected militants, including Uzbek fighters, were killed in a predator strike in the Data Khel area of North Waziristan on Wednesday. Officials say that a large number of local and foreign militants have slipped into South Waziristan after the military launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb on June 15.

Pakistan condemned the US strike, the eighth so far this year. “Pakistan believes such strikes constitute a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity and demands their immediate cessation. The government of Pakistan is already taking decisive action against terrorist elements,” The Foreign Office said in a statement referring to the Waziristan operation.

At least 25 suspected militants, including many foreigners, were killed in air raids in the Shawal area on Sunday, the military’s media wing said. “In precise strikes last night five terrorists’ hideouts were destroyed and 15 terrorists including foreigners were killed in Shawal area,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement.

According to an official tally, more than 1,100 suspected terrorists have been killed while close to 90 soldiers have also lost their lives since Operation Zarb-e-Azb began.

Separately, at least six militants were killed early Sunday in a gunfight that erupted after they attacked a paramilitary checkpoint in Khyber Agency near the border with Afghanistan.

“A group of about 30 militants attacked the Ghundi check post early Sunday, but security forces had prior information about it and were well prepared,” a senior security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.  “At least six militants were killed in the gunfight and the attacking militants were forced to flee,” the official said, adding there were no casualties among security forces.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 29th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Kamran
    Sep 29, 2014 - 4:13AM

    Why do you even bother to print “Pakistan condemned the strike”. Everyone knows there is a phone call from Washington to Islamabad right before the drone strike and Islamabad replies with “yes go ahead, and by the way can we have another 100 million for ____

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  • Hari Om
    Sep 29, 2014 - 7:24AM

    I am completely perplexed as to why there is not a single recorded attempt by the Military of Pakistan to thwart any one of the some 340 plus US drone strikes spread over a decade, despite loudly voiced disapproval from three separate administrations?

    All this pusillanimous quiescence despite Pakistan being equipped with the requisite military hardware to thwart drone attacks such as the Spada 2000 SAM’s, RBS-70 Bolide MANPADS, ZDK-03 AWAC’s, Saab 2000 Erieye AEW’s, AN/TPS-77 Transportable radars, F-16 fighters, AAMRAAM and Sidewinder AAM’s.

    All this inactivity despite Pakistan being fully within her rights to shoot down any drone intruding into her own territory.

    What then explains this lack of any recorded attempt by Pakistan’s Military to thwart US drone strikes on Pakistan’s territory? Complicity of the Punjabi dominated Military in the drone attacks or fear of the US by the Punjabi dominated Military or contempt of the Punjabi dominated Military for the intelligence of the Civilians of Pakistan?

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  • Mirza
    Sep 29, 2014 - 7:29AM

    Can there be a drone strike on those who want to Islamize the text books of KPK on the demands of JI? Some revolution and some New Pakistan!

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