Drone Attacks in Pakistan

Discussion in 'Defence & Strategic Issues' started by 123Sunny, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. 123Sunny

    123Sunny Regular Member

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    29 SEPTEMBER 2009

    PARACHINAR, Pakistan – Two missile attacks killed 13 militants in northwestern Pakistan's tribal belt Tuesday in the latest apparent strikes of a covert U.S. program that American officials are considering intensifying.

    Unmanned drones have carried out more than 70 missile attacks in the border region over the last year, but Washington rarely acknowledges the strikes. The United States says the mountainous tribal area is a base for militant attacks on American and other NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan and a stronghold of al-Qaida's senior leadership.

    One of Tuesday's attacks targeted a Taliban compound in the South Waziristan tribal region and killed six insurgents, including two Uzbek fighters, and wounded six others, two Pakistani intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

    The attack occurred in Sararogha village, the base of former Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in an Aug. 5 airstrike by a U.S. drone.

    South Waziristan has seen a spike in violence in recent days, including suicide attacks and rocket and mortar exchanges between militants and the Pakistani army. The army has moved into other areas in the northwest over the last year, but has so far avoided major operations in Waziristan.

    A second missile later Tuesday plowed into a house owned by a known Afghan militant in North Waziristan, three intelligence officials and one government official said. Seven insurgents died, they said, also on condition of anonymity, citing policy.

    Residents of Dandey Darpakhel village said they saw drones flying over the area for hours before the strike.

    "We heard big explosions," said villager Ahmad Hasan. "I went to the scene and saw three dead bodies myself. I also saw three or four people with serious wounds."

    The village is home to a religious seminary of al-Qaida-linked Taliban leader Siraj Haqqani.

    The U.S. has accused the Haqqani network of masterminding beheadings and suicide bombings in Afghanistan, including the July 2008 attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul that killed some 60 people. The Haqqani group also was linked to an assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai early last year.

    Washington says defeating insurgents in Pakistan is vital for stabilizing Afghanistan, where violence is raging eight years after the U.S.-led invasion to topple the Taliban. The U.S. believes much of the Afghan insurgency is directed by militants in safe havens across the border.

    U.S. officials have said they are considering a strategy of intensified drone attacks against al-Qaida and Taliban targets on the Pakistani side of the border, as an alternative to sending more troops to Afghanistan.


    Source: AP


    File Photo: U.S. MQ-9 Reaper Hunter/Killer UAV
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  3. 123Sunny

    123Sunny Regular Member

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    Eight militants killed in US strike in Pakistan

    Eight militants killed in US strike in Pakistan
    Pakistan - 30 september 2009

    Third Attack on Taliban's Tribal Strongholds in 24 hours

    PESHAWAR, Pakistan – Eight militants were killed in a US missile strike in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday, security officials said, in the third such attack on the Taliban's tribal strongholds in 24 hours.

    The unmanned drone targeted the lawless region of North Waziristan, a Taliban bolthole where Washington says Islamist fighters are hiding out and plotting attacks on Western troops stationed in neighbouring Afghanistan.

    Northwest Pakistan is seeing a surge in US strikes, with seven reported this month as the United States tries to stem the flow of militants waging a deadly insurgency against about 100,000 foreign troops stationed across the border.

    "It was a US drone attack which targeted a compound in Norak area in North Waziristan," a security official in the region said.

    "The death toll in the strike is eight militants including three Arabs, one Uzbek, one Chechen and three local militants," he added.

    Another security official confirmed the attack and toll, telling AFP that Taliban rebels were holding a meeting in the compound about 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of district hub Miranshah at the time of the attack.

    "It is not clear if there was any high-value target," he said.

    On Tuesday, two successive strikes from the pilotless spy planes in South and North Waziristan killed a total of 12 militants.

    The first strike killed five rebels at the compound of a low-level Taliban commander in South Waziristan's Sara Rogha, a stronghold of former Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, who was killed in a US drone strike in August.

    Hours later, more missiles pounded militants associated with an Al-Qaeda-linked network in North Waziristan, apparently killing seven Afghan Taliban at a house on the outskirts of Miranshah.

    The US military does not, as a rule, confirm drone attacks, but its armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy pilotless drones in the region.


    Source; AFP
     

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