Two US drones aimed at a compound and a motorbike in the Mir Ali tehsil of North Waziristan killed four militants on Thursday.
Security officials said that the first drone fired two missiles on militants riding a motorbike on the Khaisur Road in Heso Khel village. He added that within a span of a few minutes another drone fired two missiles at a nearby compound killing two more militants raising the total to four.
Soon after the first attack, tribesmen rushed to the area for immediate rescue. “The bodies of the militants were beyond recognition,” a local said, adding that the villagers wrapped the body parts of the militants in a cloth for burial. The militants were identified as members of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
According to the locals, the second attack took place soon after the tribesmen were leaving the site of the first drone attack. The tribesmen said that the drone fired two missiles which struck a compound, killing two militants also identified as members of the TTP.
Several missiles fired from American drones slammed into a compound near the Afghan border in Pakistan early Tuesday, killing eight suspected militants, Pakistan officials said.
The two intelligence officials said the compound was located near the town of Mir Ali in the North Waziristan tribal area.
One of the officials said an al-Qaida operative was believed to have been killed in the strike.
They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
North Waziristan, the area where the strike occurred, is considered a stronghold for insurgent groups operating in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is one of the few parts of the tribal areas that border Afghanistan in which the Pakistani military has not conducted a military operation to root out militants, despite repeated pushes to do so from the American government.
A U.S. drone strike has killed a senior al-Qaida leader in Pakistan’s tribal region near the Afghan border, Pakistani intelligence officials said, in the latest blow to the Islamic militant network.
Sheik Khalid bin Abdel Rehman al-Hussainan, who was also known as Abu Zaid al-Kuwaiti, was killed when missiles slammed into a house Thursday near Mir Ali, one of the main towns in the North Waziristan tribal area, the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Al-Kuwaiti appeared in many videos released by al-Qaida’s media wing, Al-Sahab, and was presented as a religious scholar for the group.
Earlier this year, he replaced Abu Yahya al-Libi, al-Qaida’s second in command, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in North Waziristan in June, the intelligence officials said. Al-Libi was a key religious figure within al-Qaida and also a prominent militant commander.
Al-Kuwaiti appeared to be a less prominent figure and was not part of the U.S. State Department’s list of most wanted terrorist suspects, as al-Libi had been.
Tribal sources from Pakistan’s northwest said on Saturday a U.S. drone attack had killed a senior al Qaeda commander in the latest blow to the militant Islamist group that has been targeted in many similar attacks.
Abu Zaid was killed, along with 10 other people, in the drone strike on a hideout in Pakistan’s North Waziristan, one of the tribal regions near the border with Afghanistan, early on Thursday, the sources said. Zaid had just moved to the hideout a few days ago, they said.
Pakistani security officials based in North Waziristan said they were aware of the death of a senior al Qaeda commander but could not confirm his identity or rank.
Zaid replaced Abu Yahya al-Libi as one of al Qaeda’s most powerful figures in June after Libi was killed by a U.S. drone strike.
Six people were reported killed in a suspected US drone strike in northwestern Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region on Saturday, DawnNews reported.
Moreover, two people were also reported to have been injured in the attack.
The drone fired four missiles that targeted a vehicle and a compound in the tribal region’s Degan area.
A senior security official told AFP that several drones were flying in the area at the time of the attack.
Another security official confirmed the strike.
He said the area had been the target of US drone strikes in the past, which killed several foreign militants.
The district is a stronghold of the Hafiz Gul Bahadur militant group, he said, adding that militants from the Haqqani network also operated in Degan.
The US launched the second drone strike today in the past 24 hour in an area known as a terrorist haven in the Taliban-controlled tribal agency of North Waziristan.
The remotely piloted Predators or the more advanced Reapers fired several missiles at a vehicle in the Mana area in the Shawal Valley in North Waziristan, according to AFP and Geo News. Five drones were seen circling over the attack site before and after the strike.
Pakistani officials said that between four and six “militants” were killed in the strike, but did not disclose their identities. No senior al Qaeda or Taliban leaders were reported killed.
The strike is the second in Shawal in the past 24 hours. On Saturday, the drones hit a compound in the village of Shuwedar in the Shawal Valley in North Waziristan, killing six more “militants,” according to Pakistani officials. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry objected to the earlier strike in Shawal, and called the US incursions “a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity and also in contravention of international law,” according to Dawn.
A missile launched from a U.S. drone struck a suspected militant hideout in a tribal region in northern Pakistan where allies of a powerful warlord were gathered Saturday, killing five of his supporters, Pakistani officials said.
The strike in North Waziristan against allies of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a militant commander whose forces frequently target U.S. and other NATO troops in neighboring Afghanistan, comes amid speculation over whether Pakistan will launch an operation against militants in the tribal region.
The U.S. has pushed Pakistan repeatedly to take such a step and earlier this week U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told The Associated Press that Pakistan was preparing an operation targeting the Pakistani Taliban in North Waziristan.
A Swiss couple kidnapped by the Pakistani Taliban last July say they escaped, a Pakistani army spokesman said, after the two showed up at a military checkpoint on a main road in the northwest of the country on Thursday.
Pakistani media identified the pair as Olivier David Och, 31, and Daniela Widmer, 29. They were kidnapped in Pakistan’s southwestern province of Baluchistan and had been held by the Taliban in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border.
“They escaped, this is what they have told us,” Pakistan army spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas told Reuters. “They reported to our checkpost then. They are being questioned at the moment in Peshawar.”
According to intelligence sources in North Waziristan, the two were found at a military checkpoint on a main road in Miranshah, the region’s main town, at about 5:30 a.m. (0030 GMT) and were then sent to the city of Peshawar by helicopter.
An American drone strike killed four Islamist militants in Pakistan, the first such attack since errant U.S airstrikes in November killed two dozen Pakistan troops and pushed strained ties between the two nations close to collapse, Pakistani intelligence officials said Wednesday.
The attack Tuesday took place in North Waziristan, an al-Qaida and Taliban stronghold close to the Afghan border that has been pounded by U.S. strikes, the officials said. Three of the dead were Arab fighters, said the officials, who didn’t give their names because they were not allowed to be named in the media.
Here are words that you never thought you’d hear a Pakistani general utter about the drone strikes that batter Pakistan’s tribal areas: “A majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements.”
That would be yawn-worthy if it came from the CIA, which never misses an opportunity to credit its drone strikes with taking out al-Qaeda and its affiliates. But it was the main message of an official briefing from Maj. Gen. Ghayur Mehmood in Miram Shah. He’s the commander of Pakistan’s Seventh Division, charged with leading troops in North Waziristan.
“Myths and rumours about US predator strikes and the casualty figures are many,” Mehmood said, according to Dawn, “but it’s a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners.”
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