U.S. drone attacks continue despite Pakistan’s NATO supply route closure

News of the Day
October 7, 2010 19:41

NATO supply tankers on fire near the Pak-Afghan border. Photo - STR/AFP/Getty Images

Who: U.S. army.

What: At least four people lost their lives in the latest U.S. predator attacks in northwest Pakistan’s tribal areas. The attacks follow a rare U.S. and NATO apology for an attack on Pakistani soldiers that left at least two dead. Reports say more than 150 people have been killed in the drone attacks over the last four weeks. Meanwhile, Pakistan has refused to open the Pak-Afghan border for NATO supply trucks to pass for the seventh consecutive day.

Where: The latest drone killings took place in Mir Ali, North Waziristan tribal agency. In a separate development, at least 40 NATO supply trucks were targeted and destroyed by militants in northwestern town of Nowshera and western city of Quetta in Pakistan.

When: The drone attacks happened on Thursday morning, 7 October whereas the NATO supply tankers were torched on Wednesday, 6 October.

Why: Though the U.S. never publicly admits carrying out the drone attacks on Pakistani soil, army top brass privately admits such attacks are vital to eliminate Taliban and Al-Qaeda’s leadership in the region. Pakistani government condemns such attacks but does not take practical steps to put an end to them. Islamabad is the most important ally in the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan serving as an important supply route for NATO. Analysts suggest 80% of allied supplies pass through the country whereas U.S. forces insist only a third is transported through Pakistan.

How: According to a survey conducted by New America Foundation in Pakistan’s tribal areas, 75% people opposed the U.S. drone attacks in the region. Around 48% respondents said such attacks largely kill civilians. Analysts suggest the attacks on NATO supply convoys and destruction of more than 200 trucks are a result of the increasing hatred against the U.S. strikes in Pakistani border areas with Afghanistan.

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