21 mil­i­tants killed in US drone at­tack in North Waziris­tan

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

MIRANSHAH: At least 21 mil­i­tants were killed in a US drone strike in restive North Waziris­tan's Miranshah town, lo­cal of­fi­cials said.

Ac­cord­ing to re­ports, an un­manned US Preda­tor drone fired six mis­siles at a ve­hi­cle at Mir Ali vil­lage, sit­u­ated about 25 kilo­me­tres from Miranshah. The iden­ti­ties of the dead were not im­me­di­ately clear, but of­fi­cials be­lieved that most of them were Pak­istani, rather than Afghan or Arab fight­ers. The Mir Ali area is be­lieved to be a Pak­istani Tal­iban strong­hold.

"At least 21 mil­i­tants were killed in a US mis­sile strike, which tar­geted a ve­hi­cle and a com­pound," a se­nior Pak­istani se­cu­rity of­fi­cial said.

"Four mis­siles hit the ve­hi­cle and two struck the com­pound," he added. Se­cu­rity of­fi­cials had ini­tially put the death toll at six. Washington says elim­i­nat­ing the mil­i­tant threat in Pak­istan's semi-au­ton­o­mous tribal belt is vi­tal to win­ning the nine-year war against the Tal­iban in neigh­bour­ing Afghanistan and de­feat­ing Al-Qaeda. The United States does not con­firm drone attacks, but its mil­i­tary and the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Agency op­er­at­ing in Afghanistan are the only forces that de­ploy the air­craft in the re­gion. The covert cam­paign has dou­bled mis­sile attacks in the tribal area this year where around 100 drone strikes have killed more than 640 peo­ple since Jan­uary 1, com­pared to 45 killing 420 peo­ple in 2009. Pak­istan tac­itly co­op­er­ates with the bomb­ing cam­paign, which US of­fi­cials say has se­verely weak­ened Al-Qaeda's lead­er­ship, but has stalled on launch­ing an of­fen­sive in North Waziris­tan, say­ing its troops are too over­stretched. The United Na­tions said Mon­day it had sus­pended food hand­outs in Ba­jaur, which like North Waziris­tan is one of seven dis­tricts in the tribal belt, af­ter 43 peo­ple were killed in Pak­istan's first fe­male sui­cide bomb­ing.

The de­ci­sion af­fects nearly 300,000 peo­ple who de­pend on gen­eral ra­tions from the World Food Pro­gramme (WFP) af­ter be­ing af­fected by years of fight­ing be­tween Pak­istani sol­diers and home­grown Tal­iban mil­i­tants. The Tal­iban claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for Satur­day's at­tack in part of Pak­istan's semi-au­ton­o­mous tribal belt, which Washington con­sid­ers Al-Qaeda's chief global nexus and is sub­ject to a covert Amer­i­can drone cam­paign. -PB News

MUS­CAT: Prime Min­is­ter Syed Yusuf Raza Gi­lani in­spect­ing the guard of hon­our on ar­rival at Mus­cat air­port. Sul­tan As­sad bin Tariq Al-Said, Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive of Sul­tan Qa­boos also ac­com­pa­nied. -App

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.