Monday, April 15, 2013


According to the Arab News and other media reports out of the Middle East, U.S. drone strikes have killed 4 militants. In addition, a bomb killed a Pakistan political party official by a Taliban suicide bomeber. 

The newspaper report came out of Miranshah, Pakistan on April 14th. At least four terrorists had been killed by a U.S. drone strike on Sunday in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt, security officials said. The attack took place in Datta Khel town, 35 kms (22 miles) west of Miranshah, the main town in the lawless North Waziristan region which borders Afghanistan. The area is a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Six U.S. drones flew over the area when one of them fired two missiles at a compound in the Manzarkhel area of the town. “The drones kept hovering at the compound for a while and then one drone fired two missiles at the time of sunset,” a local security official said.

“At least four militants were killed in the strike,” said the official. Another security official in the northwestern city of Peshawar, which lies on the edge of the tribal region, confirmed the attack and the casualties. An eyewitness said that the compound caught fire after the strike leaving all the bodies burnt.

“The bodies of the militants were severely burnt and it was hard to identify them,” Haji Gul Badin, a local shopkeeper reported to the media. The covert strikes are publicly criticised by the Pakistani government as a violation of sovereignty but American officials believe they are a vital weapon in the war against Islamist militants.

A UN envoy last month said U.S. drone attacks violate Pakistan’s sovereignty. UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights Ben Emmerson visited Islamabad as part of an investigation into civilian casualties caused by drone strikes. According to Britain’s Bureau of Investigative Journalism, CIA drone attacks in Pakistan have killed up to 3,577 people since 2004, up to 884 of them civilians.
Meanwhile, a roadside bomb planted by the Taliban in restive northwest Pakistan killed a political party official on Sunday, a month before the country votes in a historic general election. The blast in the Swat valley, which was ruled by the Pakistani Taliban during a 2007-9 insurgency, comes a day after militants blew up the office of an independent candidate in North Waziristan tribal district.

The attacks are the latest violence to mar the runup to national and regional elections on May 11, which will mark the country’s first democratic transition of power after a civilian government has served a full term in office.
Sunday’s blast killed a local leader of the Awami National Party (ANP), which ruled the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province from 2008 until assemblies were dissolved last month for elections.

“Mukarram Shah, a local leader of ANP, was travelling to Mingora when his vehicle was targeted by an IED (improvised explosive device), around 12 kilometres northeast of Mingora city,” Gul Afzal Afridi, the district police chief told AFP. Shah was alone in his car and no-one else was hit by the explosion. Talieban militants claimed responsibility of the attack saying all secular parties and their leaders were in their crosshairs.

“We have already announced we will attack ANP and other secular parties,” Ehsanullah Ehsan, a spokesman for Tehreek-i-Taleban Pakistan, told AFP on phone.
Elsewhere, in the Charsadda district of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, another convoy of ANP workers was struck an IED and four people including a candidate for provincial assembly were injured.

The Pakistani Taliban have targeted a number of top ANP figures in recent months, assassinating the number two in the provincial government in December. The militants also claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on ANP rally on March 31 that killed two people and have warned they will strike again.

Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean." Got a thought, article or comment you'd like to submit? Contact us on the Secure Contact Form

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