Xinhua & Reuters – 2013-07-14 10:57:10
3 Killed in US Drone Strike in NW Pakistan
(July 14, 2013) — At least three people were killed in a US drone strike launched late Saturday night in Pakistan’s northwest tribal area of North Waziristan, reported local media.
Local Urdu TV channel Capital said that the strike took place at about 11.45 p.m. (local time) when unmanned US aircraft fired two missiles in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan, a militancy- plagued region bordering Afghanistan.
One missile hit a motorbike carrying two suspected militants, leaving two riders killed right on the spot, said the report, adding that another missile hit a house suspected of being a militant hideout.
At least one was killed as the house was hit by the missile, reported local media. More casualties are feared, they said. The identities of the three killed are not immediately known.
Saturday night’s US drone strike is the 16th of its kind in Pakistan this year. Since 2013, at least 100 people have been killed in such strikes, according to Xinhua tally.
Despite the repeated protests lodged by the new government led by Nawaz Sharif, the US has never stopped its drone strikes in Pakistan’s northwest tribal regions. A total of three such strikes have been carried out by the US in Pakistan since Nawaz Sharif took office as the new prime minister of the country last month.
Nine Militants Killed in US Drone, Pakistan Air Force Strikes
Jibran Ahmad / Reuters
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (July 14, 2013) — At least nine suspected militants, including two foreigners, were killed in Pakistan’s lawless tribal region in a US drone strike and a separate Pakistan military operation, security officials said on Sunday.
Pakistan has seen a spate of militant attacks since Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif took office last month, putting pressure on his team to act more aggressively to curb the insurgency.
Missile strikes by unmanned US aircraft have inflicted the most damage against Taliban fighters in the mountainous areas straddling the Afghan border in past years, sometimes with heavy civilian casualties.
In the third such attack since Sharif came to power, two suspected militants riding a motorcycle were struck by missiles in the Mir Ali area of North Waziristan on Saturday night, one official said.
“The two men, probably Arab nationals, were passing through Mosaki village when the drone fired two missiles and hit them,” said the official. Their identities were not clear. Another security source said they were foreign militants of Turkmen origin.
It is difficult to check the impact of drone attacks on both militants and civilians because independent observers and journalists have almost no access to the areas where most of the strikes occur.
The government, while condemning drone attacks as a violation of its sovereignty, wants to appear decisive in its own efforts to combat militants on its soil and has vowed to map out a new security strategy to tackle the insurgency.
In a separate operation by the Pakistan Air Force, jets pounded several militant hideouts overnight, killing seven insurgents, senior security officials said.
“These areas are known as strongholds of the militants from where they stage deadly attacks in Kohat and Peshawar,” one official in Kohat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Pakistani military officials believe mountains linking the Orakzai, Khyber and Kurram tribal areas are one of the main strongholds for the Taliban-linked militants in Pakistan.
Another senior military official in the northwestern frontier city of Peshawar confirmed that air strikes had taken place “somewhere between Orakzai and Khyber”.
“We could hear the sounds of fighter jets and see flames when bombs were dropped in the mountains,” Shafqat Hussain, a local resident in Kohat, said of the overnight operation.
Many Taliban and their al Qaeda allies fled Afghanistan to Pakistan’s tribal areas after the US invasion in 2001. They retreated even deeper into the mountains following a Pakistan army offensive in 2009, launching attacks from places where ground forces cannot reach them.
Writing by Maria Golovnina in Islamabad; Editing by Jeremy Laurence
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