Who: American spy drones.
What: At least 16 people were killed in two separate attacks carried out by a U.S. unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). According to unnamed intelligence sources, a house believed to be used by militants was targetted. The compound was completely demolished following the attack and at least 11 militants lost their lives. Another four people were killed when a Predator fired missiles at a vehicle.
Where: The strikes were carried out in the Shawal valley in North Waziristan tribal agency, close to the border with Afghanistan. The second attack took place some six km south-east of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan.
When: Reports said the attacks took place earlier this morning on Tuesday, 14 September.
Why: American forces in the region routinely target Islamic militants in Pakistan who also call themselves the ‘Taliban’. These groups aid the Afghan Taliban across the border and wage fierce attacks on U.S. troops and their NATO allies. The group hit today, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, had signed a truce deal with Islamabad, agreeing not to target Pakistani troops or civilians and only to fight against the foreign forces in Afghanistan. Analysts fear the fresh attack on these militants will enrage the Pakistani militants and trigger more suicide attacks on the civilians.
How: Drones are the weapons of choice for the Americans. Though Pakistani government routinely condemns the aerial strikes and terms them illegal, it is no secret that an action is never taken against the American incursions. Many security analysts are of view that Islamabad and Washington enjoy a confidential security pact that condones such attacks in which thousands of civilians have died so far.