Posts Tagged ‘US drone attack’

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,,  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.

Latest US Drone Strike in South Waziristan Brings Weeklong Toll Over 100

July 11, 2009

Two Missiles Kill Eight Suspected Militants

by Jason Ditz,, July 10, 2009

A US drone fired two missiles at a suspected militant compound in South Waziristan today, killing at least eight and wounding an unknown number of others. The attack was the latest in a string of US strikes on the restive Pakistani agency which have killed over 100 in the past seven days.

US attacks into Pakistani territory had temporarily stalled after an attack on a funeral procession in late June killed 80, including dozens of innocent civilians. The attack was roundly condemned by the Pakistani government, which feared the massive toll would undercut support for the Pakistani military’s offensive in the tribal area.

The two-week calm ended last Friday when a drone killed 17. On Tuesday another attack killed 16 more, and then on Wednesday multiple attacks killed at least 60 others. The eight killed today bring the confirmed toll up to 101.

The Pakistani government is reported to have significant influence over the targets selected by the US in the strikes, though Pakistan’s civilian government has fervently denied that it has anything to do with the unpopular attacks. The Obama Administration has dramatically increased the rate and severity of attacks since taking office.

US Drone Strike in North Waziristan Kills 40

May 17, 2009
Missiles Attacked Village Religious School

by Jason Ditz |, May 16, 2009

A US drone fired two missiles at a religious school (madrassa) in Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency today, killing at least 40 and wounding an as yet undetermined number of others. Villagers are reportedly still recovering people from the debris of the destroyed school, and several of the wounded are in critical condition, so the final death toll may yet rise.

Foreign militants were reportedly among the dead, but officials said it was unclear exactly who was killed in the strike. It is the first US attack since reports emerged last week of a formal drone partnership which gave the Pakistani military “significant control” over the targets of military drone strikes. Both milities have since denied the arrangement, and it remains unclear if today’s drone strike was conducted by the US military or the CIA.

The US attacks on North and South Waziristan have been increasing in intensity and severity since President Obama took office, over the public complaints and private support of the Pakistani government. Pakistan is reportedly planning a massive military offensive against the Waziristan tribes in the next few weeks, which will reportedly involve “huge numbers of troops.” The Wazir tribesmen have been fleeing to cities in the neighboring North-West Frontier Province in recent days on news of the impending invasion.

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US Drone Strike Kills Eight Civilians in South Waziristan

April 20, 2009
Women, Children Killed in Series of Explosions Set Off by Air Strike

by Jason Ditz |,  April 19, 2009

This morning, a US drone attacked an apparent militant hideout in Pakistan’s South Waziristan Agency, triggering a massive series of explosions which local residents eight civilians, including women and children, and injuring at least two others.

Reports on the attack are still not totally clear, with local police insisting first that no one was killed at all in the attack, which evidently started a fire which spread to two explosive-laden vehicles.  Militants cordoned off the area, but it does not appear that any of them were present at the time of the attack.

The attack came just one day after the local Ahmedzai Wazir tribe managed to negotiate a ceasefire across the troubled agency. The Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the government forces in the agency agreed to stop attacks, and certain demands of the TTP, including the removal of checkpoints, were reportedly being considered. It is unclear what impact the US attack will have on this deal.

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US drone hits Pakistan compound

April 4, 2009

Al Jazeera, April 4, 2009

There has been growing anger in Pakistan
against US aerial attacks [EPA]

Up to 13 people have been killed in a suspected US drone attack in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region near the Afghan border, security officials say.

The attack on Saturday occurred in an area 35km west of the region’s main town of Miranshah.

The death toll is 13, including some foreigners, but  information is very sketchy because it’s a town which is very  remote,” one security official said on condition of anonymity.

Pakistani officials use the word “foreigner” to refer to suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters, but the precise identities of the dead was not confirmed.

A local official said the compound that was hit belonged to Tariq Khan, who was described as a “facilitator of the Taliban”.

Amir Shah, a resident of Waziristan, said drones were still flying over the area several hours after the attack.

‘Safe haven’

With violence intensifying in Afghanistan, the US has launched more drone attacks on the Pakistani side of the border to destroy what it describes as “safe havens” for anti-government fighters.

The Pakistani government has protested to Washington against the drone strikes, saying they violated its territorial sovereignty.

But the US has kept up with its aerial attacks, accusing Islamabad of not doing enough to crack down on fighters who cross the border to attack US and Nato troops in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters sought refuge in Pakistan’s northwest tribal region after the US-led invasion of Afghanistan toppled the Taliban regime in late 2001.

Latest US Drone Strike in North Waziristan Kills At Least Nine

October 10, 2008,  October 9, 2008

A missile strike by a US drone hit a house in Ghundai, a village 20 km east of Miramshah in Pakistan’s North Waziristan province today, killing at least nine people. It is the second US air strike in the province in less than a week, as a strike on Friday evening killed at least 21 people.

Today’s strike targeted the home of Maulvi Sahar Gul, who is said to be affiliated with the tribal fighters which signed a peace treaty with Pakistan in February. Five of those killed were reported to be civilians, with another four “suspected foreign militants.”

Area mosques issued loudspeaker calls asking for help to retrieve an unknown number of injured people from the debris. One unnamed witness, described only as a “tribal militant” said the death toll could rise as there may still be people trapped under the roof.

Pakistani helicopters were in the area, but villagers say they did not fire on the drones. Last month, US and Pakistani ground troops traded fire for about five minutes across the border near the site of today’s strike. Pakistan has warned the US several times about launching strikes on its territory, but Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has insisted that the strikes will continue.

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compiled by Jason Ditz [email the author

At Least Nine Killed in North Waziristan Drone Strike

October 2, 2008,  October 1, 2008

An apparent unmanned US drone attacked a house in North Waziristan last night, killing at least nine and wounding several others. Some reports say that foreign militants are among the dead, and others claim the drone came under fire from the building, which was demolished in the strike.

This is just the latest in a series of US strikes along the border regions of North and South Waziristan which have strained relations between the two nations. Pakistani officials have condemned the unilateral strikes as a violation of their nation’s sovereignty, and while US officials have repeatedly promised to respect said sovereignty the attacks have continued. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insists that the United States has every right to launch attacks on Pakistani soil without prior permission from their government.

But Pakistani officials insist the attacks are counterproductive, and Pakistani Prime Minister Raza Gilani has reportedly termed the US strikes “terrorism.” The strikes have led to a tense situation across the mountainous border and have led to several incidents, most recently a five minute exchange of fire between US and Pakistan troops along the border between North Waziristan and Afghanistan’s Khost Province.

The strikes have also stirred anti-US sentiment among the Pakistani people, many of whom blame the US strikes for stirring up a recent spate of terrorist attacks across the nation, particularly the blast at the Islamabad Marriott Hotel late last month which killed 60 people.

The group that claimed credit for the bombing said they were targeting US marines and NATO officials at the hotel, a popular destination for foreigners. They also later warned of future attacks against others who, like the hotel’s owner, “facilitate Americans and NATO crusaders.”

compiled by Jason Ditz [email the author]

US drone strikes in Pakistan hours after sovereignty pledge

September 18, 2008

By Omar Waraich in Islamabad | The Independent, 18 September 2008

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A US drone attacked suspected militants inside Pakistan yesterday, only hours after the US military chief assured Pakistani leaders that the country’s sovereignty would be respected.

In an effort to calm escalating tensions between Washington and Islamabad, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, made a surprise visit to the Pakistani capital after it emerged that President George Bush had authorised US forces to attack Taliban militants in tribal areas on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The two allies have been locked in a game of brinkmanship since US special operations troops mounted the first known ground assault in Pakistan, allegedly killing up to 20 people in a village in South Waziristan. Afterwards Pakistan’s army vowed to retaliate and defend itself “at all costs”.

Admiral Mullen met Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and the Pakistani army chief General Ashaf Kayani. Afterwards the US embassy said: “Admiral Mullen reiterated the US commitment to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and to develop further… co-operation.”

But within hours a pilotless drone fired four missiles into South Waziristan, killing five militants, according to local intelligence officials. Reuters claimed the attack was the product of “US-Pakistani intelligence-sharing”, but government officials appeared to disagree.

“The [Mullen] visit was nice and he was very understanding,” said Ahmad Mukthar, the Defence minister. “Now these airstrikes have come as a surprise.”

The new civilian Pakistani government is fearful that increased US intervention will inflame an already hostile public. On Tuesday, President Asif Ali Zardari urged Gordon Brown to persuade the Americans to relent during a meeting at Downing Street.

“The UK agrees with us that such moves are counterproductive,” said an official. “Britain has a major role to play [here] – they know the area better than the US.”

US drone attack kills 25, injures 20 in Pakistan

September 8, 2008

The News International, Monday Sep 8, 2008

Updated at: 2315 PST, Monday, September 08, 2008

ISLAMABAD: At least 25 people have been killed and 20 injured in the drone missile attack in North Waziristan.

This is the latest in a string of attacks on Pakistani soil from its western borders.

Seven missiles were fired from two suspected U-S predator drones. The missiles hit a small village one kilometer north of Miranshah.

Two drones entered the Danday- darpa-khel area at around 1030 this morning and began firing into the village.

It is believed that those killed include the relatives of Taliban commander Jalaluddin Haqqani who is operative in Afghanistan.

On Friday – a drone missile hit two houses in the Garvek village of North Waziristan and left 3 children and 2 women dead. Seven militants were killed in the attack.

A day earlier a missile strike killed 5 people in North Waziristan while on wednesday US forces landed in south Waziristan in aground assault killing 20 people. The attack brought forth condemnation from all quarters and a resolution was passed in all the assemblies against the attack.

Today’s US attack in North Waziristan is the fourth consecutive strike inside Pakistan.

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