US drones kill 8 in NWA
Reports reaching here from Miran Shah say the drones targeted a compound in Shawal area of North Waziristan agency with hell fire missiles that razed the compound to the ground resulting in killing of at least 8 people and injuries to many others. Official sources claimed those killed were the fugitives but as usual they were unable to give any details about them.
“At least eight persons were killed and several others injured when a US drone attacked a house in Shawal area, some 70 kilometers (45 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan”. The officials said adding as a result of strike, the compound was completely destroyed.
Officials claimed that the compound was situated in a far-flung area some three kilometers from the Pak-Afghan border and that the compound was suspected to be under the use of militants belonging to Gul Bahadur group of Taliban.
The local sources told Pakistan Observer that those killed in the Saturday’s drone strikes appeared to be local tribesmen saying the rescue operation could not be initiated for hours as three to four American planes continued to hover over the area even after the missiles hit and the Tribals apprehended they might strike back.
The drones which had intensified missile attacks in the tribal belt since August 2008, have killed more than twenty five hundred people in over 300 hits mostly in North and South Waziristan Agency.
Out of those strikes, 33 were conducted in 2008 and 53 in 2009. However, the notorious drones struck 118 times in 2010 and more than two dozen attacks were launched in 2011.
No doubt, a big majority of the drone’s victims remained the innocent tribals as even admitted by the international watch dogs though they have been able to mow down few of their high value targets.
Attacks violation of Pak territorial integrity: FO
Islamabad—The Foreign Office on Monday said that US drone attacks in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region were a violation of the country’s sovereignty.
A statement issued by the Foreign Office said drone attacks violated international laws and Pakistan’s territorial integrity.
The statement moreover said that the attacks were an obstacle to the normalisation of diplomatic, political and strategic ties between Pakistan and the United States. The statement followed a drone strike on Saturday morning in North Waziristan which killed at least 10 people.
It was the second strike since the parliament in March approved new guidelines on relations with the US, which included a call for an end to drone attacks on Pakistani territory.
Pakistan says the drone strikes are counter productive and undermine government efforts to separate tribes from militants, violate Pakistan’s sovereignty, kill civilians and fuel anti-US sentiment.
Pakistan raised the issue with Marc Grossman, the US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, when he visited Islamabad last month amid efforts to mend fractured relations.
The uneasy allies are currently taking tentative steps to repair a serious crisis in relations over last year’s covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden and US air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.
US to continue attacks: Panetta
Washington—The US will continue to launch drone strikes against militant sanctuaries in Pakistan even if that nation’s government keeps opposing them, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said. While Panetta declined to be more specific when asked about the unmanned vehicles because they “remain covert operations,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Conversations with Judy Woodruff” airing later this week, “The United States was attacked on 9/11, and we know who attacked us.”
“We know that Al-Qaeda was behind it,” Panetta said. “And we are going to do everything we can, use whatever operations we have to, in order to make sure that we protect this country and make sure that that kind of attack never happens again.” When told that sounded as if he meant drone attacks will continue, Panetta said simply, “The United States is going to defend itself under any circumstances.”
Drone attacks against sanctuaries of the Taliban and other groups in Pakistan are carried out by the Central Intelligence Agency, which Panetta previously headed. Pakistan has opposed the strikes, saying they violate its sovereignty. —INP