MIRAMSHAH/PESHAWAR: Enraged by the merciless killing of innocent tribesmen, including children, hundreds of tribal people staged protests after the Friday prayers in North Waziristan to condemn the missile attack on a tribal Jirga and asked the international community to help stop the bloodshed in the name of the so-called ‘war on terror’.
Also, the death toll from the deadly drone attack on the Jirga at Dattakhel reached 48 as seven more injured people succumbed to their injuries on Friday. Tribal elders, however, said
55 members of the Jirga had lost their lives in the attack. Tribal sources said funeral prayers for the slain tribesmen were offered in Dattakhel.
The grieving villagers were still seen retrieving body parts of their near and dear ones at the blast site. The tribesmen said almost all the bodies were mutilated beyond recognition. “Only pieces of flesh were collected from the spot for burial,” said a tribesman.
The remote mountainous Dattakhel area, inhabited by the Kazha Madakhel Wazir people, remained in grief after the loss of so many people in the strikes by the CIA-operated Predator planes. The elders of Kazha Madakhel Wazir were holding a Jirga to resolve a minor dispute over ownership of minerals, including chromites and limestone in the mountains of the area and were negotiating to ensure equal distribution of money collected from selling some of the resources, when the US spy planes attacked them. The unmanned US drones first fired two missiles on a car and then fired four more missiles on the Jirga members holding their meeting in an open ground nearby.
Meanwhile, the angry tribesmen also staged protests in Miramshah and Mir Ali, the two biggest towns in North Waziristan, after the Friday prayers. In Miramshah, which is the headquarters of North Waziristan, chief of Waziristan Malik Nasrullah Khan, Malik Qadir Khan, the chief of Madakhel Wazir tribe, and Malik Mamoor Khan, chief of Turikhel Wazir, led the protesting tribesmen.
The protesters, while chanting slogans against the United States and its secret service, CIA, held them responsible for the bloodshed all over the world, particularly in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
The three prominent tribal chieftains said they had been complaining for the last couple of years that only innocent people were being targeted in drone attacks but the world failed to take note of their genuine complaints. They asked the United States and other world powers to compensate victims of the drone attack in Dattakhel as almost each and every family had suffered while some of the families had lost five to seven members.
The tribal elders also demanded an immediate halt to the drone attacks in Pakistan, as they feared these were complicating the situation and fuelling violence in the already volatile tribal areas of the country.
The elders said 55 people, including elders and children, had lost their lives in the Thursday attack by the US pilotless planes on the Jirga. Though somewhat satisfied with the unprecedented strong reaction from Pakistani civil and military leadership against the US aggression, the tribesmen, however, stated that mere condemnation would not help stop the killing of innocent Pakistanis at the hands of Americans.