News Column

US Drone Strike Kills Four in Pakistan

May 29, 2013

A U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's restive north-western tribal region killed at least four suspected militants early Wednesday, state-run media reported.

The unmanned aircraft fired a missile at a house in Chashma village close to Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district bordering Afghanistan, Radio Pakistan said online.

Independent confirmation of numbers and identities of casualties were not immediately possible because the tribal territory is largely off-limits to journalists.

North Waziristan is described as a safe haven for al-Qaeda and Taliban-linked insurgents, who are blamed for carrying out deadly attacks on Western interests in Afghanistan.

Wednesday's drone strike was the first since the May 11 general elections, in which the party of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif emerged as a winner.

It also comes days after US President Barack Obama outlined his administration's strategy about the drone attacks, which are strongly opposed by Pakistan as a violation of its sovereignty.

Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, earlier this year said at least 330 drone strikes inside Pakistan since 2004 killed at least 2,200 people, citing statistics compiled by Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.

Pakistan also informed Emmerson that the government had been able to confirm deaths of at least 400 civilians and a further 200 people regarded as probable non-combatants.

Meanwhile, a motorcycle bomb went off near a Shitte mosque in Pakistan's main north-western town of Peshawar Tuesday night, killing at least two people and injuring 18 others, a senior police officer Khalid Hamdani said Wednesday.

Shiites make up around 20 per cent of the majority Sunni Muslim country. Most members of the two sects live in harmony, but extremist groups off and on struck each other's targets.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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