15 die in Pakistan drone raids

2010-09-14 18:05

Miranshah - Missiles fired by US drones in two attacks on Tuesday killed 15 militants in Pakistan's tribal badlands, with 11 strikes targeting the lawless Afghan border area in 11 days, officials said.

In the first attack, officials said, four missiles hit a compound in Bushnarai village in Shawal district of North Waziristan, where al-Qaeda linked and Taliban fighters have carved out strongholds beyond government control.

"Eleven militants were killed in today's drone attack," a senior Pakistani security official in the area told AFP on condition of anonymity, updating an earlier toll for the first attack.

He described the area as a stronghold of Arab militants and said there were reports that "foreigners" - a term for al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan -- were among the dead but said the nationalities of the dead had not been confirmed.

Another security official confirmed that the remains of 11 people had been pulled out of the compound's wreckage.

US drones carried out low-level flights in different areas of North Waziristan, including Shawal where the first strike took place this morning, the second security official told AFP.

Shawal district is more than 300km from Pakistan's capital Islamabad, headquarters of the country's civilian government.

Arab fighters

The area is a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur and is populated by Arab fighters.

The second drone attack took place in Qutabkhel village in the outskirts of Miranshah on Tuesday evening, killing four militants, officials said, bringing the day's toll to 15.

"A US drone fired two missiles on a vehicle carrying militants outside Miranshah," a senior security official told AFP.

"At least four militants were killed in the attack," the official said, adding that the identities of the militants were not immediately known.

A fresh surge in US missile strikes has killed 64 militants since September 3 in Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt, which Washington has branded a global headquarters of al-Qaeda and the most dangerous spot on Earth.

With Pakistan struggling to cope with devastating floods that have hit 21 million people in the country's worst humanitarian disaster, Islamist militant violence has picked up in recent weeks with a fresh series of major bombings.

The Taliban last week threatened Pakistani security forces with further suicide attacks to avenge US missile strikes, which have become a key tactic in the US-led fight to reverse a Taliban insurgency in neighbouring Afghanistan.

Islamist havens

An Islamist militant bombing campaign has killed more than 3 700 people and fanned instability across nuclear-armed Pakistan since July 2007.

Under US pressure to crack down on Islamist havens along the Afghan border, Pakistan has in the past year stepped up military operations against largely home grown militants in the area.

Officials in Washington say the drone strikes have killed a number of high-value targets including Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and help protect foreign troops in Afghanistan from attacks plotted across the border.

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.

Over 1 070 people have been killed in more than 125 drone strikes in Pakistan since August 2008, including a number of senior militants. However, the attacks fuel anti-American sentiment in the conservative Muslim country.

Al-Qaeda announced in June that its number three leader and Osama bin Laden's one-time treasurer Mustafa Abu al-Yazid had been killed in what security officials said appeared to be a drone strike in North Waziristan.

- SAPA

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  pakistan
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.