Posts Tagged ‘North Waziristan’

Pakistanis says US drone kill 12 civilians including kids

May 22, 2010
At least six people have been killed in a U.S. drone missile attack in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

At least six people have been killed in a U.S. drone missile attack in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, Pakistani intelligence officials said on Saturday.

But residents in the area said 12 people, including four women and two children, were killed. They said those killed were civilians and were from the same family.

The missiles struck a house around midnight in a village about 25 km (15 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, the officials said.

Six women and two children were also wounded in the attack and being treated at a hospital in Miranshah, one witness said.

More than 900 people have been killed in over 100 drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008.

U.S. ally Pakistan officially objects to the drone strikes, saying they are a violation of its sovereignty, which complicates Pakistan’s efforts against militancy.

It was the fifth drone missile strike in northwest Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan, since a failed bid to set off a car bomb in New York’s Times Square on May 1.

Reuters

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American Drones and Democracy

May 19, 2010

by Kathy Kelly and Josh Brollier, Voices For Creative Democracy, May 18, 2010

Islamabad—On May 12th, the day after a U.S. drone strike killed 24 people in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, two men from the area agreed to tell us their perspective as eyewitnesses of previous drone strikes.

One is a journalist, Safdar Dawar, General Secretary of the Tribal Union of Journalists. Journalists are operating under very difficult circumstances in the area, pressured by both militant groups and the Pakistani government. Six of his colleagues have been killed while reporting in North and South Waziristan. The other man, who asked us not to disclose his name, is from Miranshah city, the epicenter of North Waziristan. He works with the locally based Waziristan Relief Agency, a group of people committed to helping the victims of drone attacks and military actions. “If people need blood or medicine or have to go to Peshawar or some other hospital,” said the social worker, “I’m known for helping them. I also try to arrange funds and contributions.”

Continues >>

Hundreds Killed as US Escalates Pakistan Strikes

April 26, 2010

Few Notable Militants Reported Killed

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, April 25, 2010

After killing a record 700 civilians last year in at least 44 distinct drone strikes against Pakistan in 2009, the Obama Administration looks to be escalating the rate even further in 2010, to the point that drone strikes have become a decidedly ordinary occurrence.

Less than four months into the new year, the US has already launched 40 attacks and killed at least 268 people. The most recent strike yesteray in North Waziristan killed at least nine people.

The identities of the victims are never particularly easy to ascertain, but the number of named militants killed so far this year is trivial, as it was last year, when most of the “suspects” turned out to have no discernible relation to any militant faction.

Since taking office, President Obama has repeatedly escalated the drone strikes against the tribal areas, to the point where multiple attacks a week are a matter of course. With the normal winter lull seeing such a large number of strikes, a new record for killings seems all but assured again in 2010.

Pakistani Civilians Among 17 Killed in Latest US Drone Strikes

March 11, 2010

Drone Attacked Crowd of Civilians Rescuing Victims of Previous Drone

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com, March 10, 2010

An unknown number of civilians were slain today in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency, when US drones launched a pair of attacks on a site which left at least 17 people killed and several wounded.

The first drone strike targeted a vehicle which Pakistani officials say was “carrying some miscreants.” The attack killed at least eight people and collapsed a nearby home, which is what precipitated the second attack.

A crowd of civilians gathered around the collapsed building, trying to pull people from the rubble, when a second drone fired missiles into the crowd, killing at least nine people and wounding several others.

“Miscreants” aside, it was unclear if any of those killed were militants of any significant faction, and Pakistani officials say there was no evidence any high-value target at the site. The area is controlled by a nominally “Taliban” militant faction which currently has a peace deal with the Pakistani government.

Pakistan: US drones killed 123 civilians, three al-Qaeda men in January

February 1, 2010

By Amir Mir, The News International, Feb 1, 2010

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LAHORE: Afghanistan-based US predators carried out a record number of 12 deadly missile strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan in January 2010, of which 10 went wrong and failed to hit their targets, killing 123 innocent Pakistanis. The remaining two successful drone strikes killed three al-Qaeda leaders, wanted by the Americans.

The rapid increase in the US drone attacks in the Pakistani tribal areas bordering Afghanistan can be gauged from the fact that only two such strikes were carried out in January 2009, which killed 36 people. The highest number of drone attacks carried out in a single month in 2009 was six, which were conducted in December last year. But the dawn of the New Year has already seen a dozen such attacks.

The unprecedented rise in the predator strikes with the beginning of the year 2010 is being attributed to December 30, 2009 suicide bombing in the Khost area of Afghanistan bordering North Waziristan, which killed seven CIA agents. US officials later identified the bomber as Humam Khalil Abu Mulal al-Balawi, a Jordanian national linked to both al-Qaeda and the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

In a subsequent posthumous video tape released by Al-Jazeera, Balawi claimed while sitting next to TTP Chief Commander Hakimullah Mehsud that he would blow himself up in the CIA base to avenge the killing of former TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud in a US drone attack. The consequent increase in US strikes, first in North Waziristan and then South Waziristan, specifically targeting the fugitive TTP chief Hakimullah Mehsud clearly shows that revenge is the major motive for these attacks. The US intelligence sleuths stationed in Afghanistan are convinced the Khost suicide attack was planned in Waziristan with the help of the TTP. Therefore, it is believed Afghanistan-based American drones will continue to hunt the most wanted al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, especially Hakimullah, with a view to avenge the loss of the seven CIA agents and to raise morale of its forces in Afghanistan.

According to the data compiled by the interior ministry, the first US drone strike was conducted on January 1 which struck a vehicle near Ghundikala village in North Waziristan and killed four people. The second attack came on January 3, targeting the Mosakki village in North Waziristan, killing five people. Two separate missile strikes carried out on January 6 killed 35 people in Sanzalai village of North Waziristan. The fifth predator attack was carried out on January 8 in the Tappi village of North Waziristan, killing five people. The sixth attack on January 9 in Ismail Khan village of North Waziristan killed four people, including two al-Qaeda leaders. Mahmoud Mehdi Zeidan, the bodyguard for al-Qaeda leader Sayeed al-Masri, and Jamal Saeed Abdul Rahim, who had been involved in hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in 1986, were reportedly killed in this missile strike.

The seventh US attack on January 14 in the Pasalkot village of North Waziristan killed 15 people, amidst rumours Hakimullah Mehsud could be among the dead.

The eighth drone attack came on January 15 in the Zannini village near Mir Ali in North Waziristan, killing 14 people, including an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist, Abdul Basit Usman, a Filipino wanted by the Americans. The ninth strike was carried out on January 17 in the Shaktoi area of South Waziristan, which killed 23 people. The tenth drone attack came on January 19 when two missiles were fired at a compound and vehicle in Booya village of Datakhel subdivision, 35km west of Miramshah, in North Waziristan, killing eight people. The eleventh strike carried out on January 29 targeting a compound belonging to the Haqqani network in the Muhammad Khel town of North Waziristan, killed six people. The twelfth and the last predator attack of the month came on January 30, killing nine people in the Lend Mohammad Khel area of North Waziristan.


US drone slaughters 18 in Pakistan attack

January 15, 2010
Morning Star Online, January 14, 2010

A US drone missile attack has killed at least 18 people and injured 14 others – but missed its target of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud – in Pakistan’s underdeveloped North Waziristan region.

The attack, which was controlled remotely by CIA officials working out of control centres at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, was the seventh remotely-controlled US missile assault in the tribal district this month.

A Pakistani security official said that two missiles had bee fired at a compound in Pasalkot village where Pakistan’s Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud was believed to have been staying.

The official said that he had “information that he was around there – we’re checking on whether he was killed.”

A Taliban spokesman claimed that Mr Mehsud was safe and had left the compound minutes before the assault.

The attack was mounted a day after the American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking the Obama administration to disclose the legal basis for its use of Predator drones to conduct “targeted killings” overseas.

There were at least 45 drone attacks in Pakistan in 2009, compared with 27 in 2008.

In particular, the ACLU sought to find out under what conditions drone strikes can be authorised, and how Washington ensured compliance with international laws relating to extrajudicial killings.

ACLU National Security Project legal fellow Jonathan Manes said: “The Obama administration has reportedly expanded the drone programme, but it has not explained publicly what the legal basis for the programme is, what limitations it recognises on the use of drones outside active theatres of war and what the civilian casualty toll has been thus far.”

Barack Obama’s government has used unmanned drones to target and kill individuals not only in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, but also in other countries such as Yemen.

US drones kill 15 militants as tension between Pakistan and America rises

December 18, 2009

The Times/UK, December 18, 2009

Zahid Hussain in Islamabad

US drones fired ten missiles, killing at least 15 suspected militants in Pakistan’s border region as relations between Washington and Islamabad hit a new low.

The raid in North Waziristan came amidst a renewed political turmoil in Pakistan triggered by a court ruling to re-open corruption cases against President Zardari, a key US ally in the battle against Islamic militants. Relations between the two countries are strained after Pakistan introduced security checks on US diplomatic vehicles and delayed visas for US officials and contractors.

Continued >>

10 Killed in US Drone Strikes Against North Waziristan

September 9, 2009

Three More Killed in Second Strike of the Past Two Days

by Jason Ditz, Antiwar.com,  September 08, 2009

Three more people were killed today in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency when a US drone attacked their house just outside the major town of Miramshah. The attack was the second in as many days and brought the overall toll of the two attacks to at least 10 killed and an unknown number of others wounded.

Yesterday a drone attacked a car outside another house in the region, destroying the car and damaging the house and a nearby religious school. At least seven people were killed in the strike, and at least five of them had been identified as suspected militants by local security officials.

Today’s attack targeted the home of a local named Ismail Khan. There was no immediate comment from anyone linking him to militant activity nor was there any indication why his house was a target. The US seldom even confirms its attacks into Pakistan, except when they believe that they killed someone important.

Such attacks are considered a sensitive subject for the Pakistani government, which publicly denounces but privately supports them. The recent spate of attacks will likely further add to the growing unrest across the country over US interference.

Deadly ‘US drone raid’ in Pakistan

August 21, 2009
AlJazeera, Aug 21, 2009

At least 10 people have been killed after a suspected US drone fired missiles into Pakistan’s North Waziristan region, Pakistani intelligence agency officials have said.

The raid on Friday on Darpa Kheil village was the third such attack this month in Pakistan’s ethnic Pashtun tribal areas by what are believed to be CIA-operated pilotless aircraft.

“The attack caused a huge explosion,” said a Reuters reporter in Miranshah, about 2km from the scene of the raid.

Drones were seen flying over the area after the blast, he said.

Madrassa attacked

Darpa Kheil village is home to a large madrassa, or religious school, set up by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a former veteran Afghan fighter commander who is also a senior Taliban leader.

US drone aircraft attacked the complex in September last year, killing 23 people, most of them members of Haqqani’s family.

Pakistani and US officials believe Baitullah Mehsud, the Pakistani Taliban chief, was killed in a similar strike in neighbouring South Waziristan on August 5.

Pakistan, an ally of the US, which is fighting al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the region, officially objects to US drone attacks on its soil, saying they violate its sovereignty.

Pakistan’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Deal on US Air Strikes

November 17, 2008

Antiwar.com

Posted November 16, 2008

Pakistan’s loud complaints about the regular US air strikes in its tribal areas have had so little effect on American policy that it has been speculated that there must be a “secret understanding” between the two. Pakistan’s government denied this earlier in the month, but new reports are indicating that this is more or less exactly what’s been happening.

After US helicopters attacked a South Waziristan village in early September, the two nations reached a “tacit agreement” on what the Washington Post terms a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” policy on US drone strikes. Under the deal, the US will not publicly acknowledge any of their attacks and the Pakistani government will continue to publicly complain about them.

Sort of a win-win for the two sides. The United States gets to continue launching unilateral attacks with no real consequences, and the Pakistani government gets the plausible deniability that comes from loudly complaining every time such an attack is launched. Whether this status quo can be maintained after public revelation of the deal is another matter, of course.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari says he receives no “prior notice” of the attacks, and gives the Americans the “benefit of the doubt” that their missiles meant to land on Afghan soil, no matter how many overflights they do over Pakistani cities or how regularly the strikes land in Pakistani villages.

The attacks have provoked popular outrage in Pakistan’s tribal areas, and the support of tribal area legislators is vital to the maintenance of the Zardari government’s narrow coalition. The revelation of this understanding may have serious political consequences for the Pakistani national government.

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compiled by Jason Ditz [email the author]


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