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August 25, 2012

US drones kill 18 in NWA

Editorial

 
August 25, 2012

MIRANSHAH: Brushing aside Thursday’s protest by Pakistan, the CIA-operated spy planes on Friday rained missiles on the remote Shawal Valley in the North Waziristan tribal region and killed 18 people in three different strikes.
In the first attack, tribal sources said, the drones fired four missiles at a house in Wanda Darra in the mountainous and forested Shawal Valley, killing eight persons and injuring another seven.
Those who reached Mir Ali and Miranshah, the two major towns in North Waziristan Agency (NWA), to shift victims of the drone strikes to hospitals said they could not pull out the bodies and injured from the debris of the house in time due to fear of further attacks by the drones still flying over the area.
The tribesmen said 12 drones were seen flying over the area even one hour after the first missile strike on the house.The drones, according to sources, later fired another two missiles at a small house in Maki Ghar village located in the dense forests of Shawal Valley in North Waziristan. Five people were killed and four others injured in the second attack.
Almost half an hour later, the drone fired four more missiles and struck a mud-house in Dre Nishtar village in the Shawal Valley in North Waziristan, killing five people and injuring another six.
The people who helped retrieve the bodies from the debris of the collapsed buildings said all the bodies had been burnt and torn into pieces. They said the bodies were beyond recognition.The injured were admitted to different health facilities in Mir Ali and Miranshah, where doctors reported that most of them were in critical condition.
The identity of the slain men couldn’t be ascertained but militants do maintain their hideouts in the Shawal Valley and other places in North Waziristan and have frequently come under drone attacks there.
The US authorities leak information to the American media and lump together all those killed as militants and terrorists. Pakistan has

publicly opposed the drone strikes as it believes these are counterproductive and radicalise the population. The militants routinely claim that most of those killed in the drone strikes are civilians.
The latest missile strikes were launched a day after Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry summoned a senior American diplomat in Islamabad and lodged a strong protest over the last drone attack.