Pentagon’s “Drone Wars” Continue to Kill inside Pakistan

April 3rd, 2009 - by admin

BBC News & Munir Ahmad /Associated Press – 2009-04-03 23:28:40

‘Deadly Air Strike’ in Pakistan
BBC News

ISLAMABAD (April 4, 2009) — A suspected US missile strike in northwest Pakistan has killed 13 people, local security officials have said. The apparent drone attack targeted a home in the North Waziristan region near the Afghan border, officials said.

The US military routinely does not confirm drone attacks but its forces in Afghanistan are believed to be the only ones in the region with the capability. Pakistan is critical of drone use because, it says, civilians are often killed, fuelling support for militants.

The latest missile strike occurred at 0300 local time (2200 GMT on Friday), officials said. It targeted a local tribesman’s compound near the region’s main town of Miranshah, according to reports. A number of foreign militants were among those killed, security officials said.

The latest incident comes only three days after a missile fired by a suspected US drone killed at least 14 people in Pakistan’s Orakzai tribal area, near the Afghan border. Correspondents say that more than 35 suspected drone strikes have killed more than 340 people since August 2008, shortly before the election of President Asif Ali Zardari.

US President Barack Obama has pledged to make the war against the Taleban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan a foreign policy priority. Most missile strikes by drones have targeted foreign fighters in the Waziristan region over the past couple of years.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.

13 Killed in Pakistan By Suspected US Missile
Munir Ahmad / Associated Press

ISLAMABAD (April 4, 2009) — A suspected U.S. drone fired at least one missile at a home in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing 13 people, intelligence officials and a resident said.

The U.S. is suspected of carrying out more than three dozen such strikes in Pakistan near the Afghan border, where militants often launch attacks against U.S. and NATO troops. (See photos of Pakistan’s vulnerable north-west passage)

The home targeted Saturday was in North Waziristan, one of Pakistan’s tribal areas that is believed to be an important base for al-Qaeda and Taliban militants, said the intelligence officials. The dead and injured from the attack included women and children, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

Pakistan has criticized the drone strikes, saying they are a violation of the country’s sovereignty and kill innocent civilians. But the U.S. believes they are an effective tool to combat militants in the region.

A local tribal elder, Dilawar Khan, confirmed that 13 people were killed in the strike, saying the owner’s family was among the dead. He said he didn’t know the identities of the other people killed in the attack or whether there were militants staying at the home at the time.

Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.