JNN 16 Oct 2011 : At least five people have been killed and four others injured in a non-UN-sanctionedUS drone attack on Pakistan’s northwestern region of South Waziristan. The United States ‘covert’ drone war in Pakistan reached a new milestone today with the 300th attack on alleged militants in the country’s tribal areas according to the Bureau of Investigative journalism.
According to Pakistani officials, the airstrike took place early Saturday in Baghar China area after the unmanned aircraft fired four missiles at a house.
Local residents said four US drones were flying over the area before the attack.
The death toll is likely to rise further as some of the injured are said to be in critical condition.
The US regularly uses unmanned aircraft to carry out attacks on Pakistan’s tribal regions, claiming that the airstrikes target pro-Taliban militants. Locals say civilians are the main victims of the airstrikes.
Relations between Islamabad and Washington have soured over the unauthorized attacks, with Pakistan insisting that the airstrikes violate its sovereignty.
Islamabad has repeatedly condemned the airstrikes, which have fuelled anti-US sentiment among the Pakistani public.
On Tuesday, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta admitted that the American military is fighting a “war” in Pakistan by carrying out drone strikes on tribal regions, though Washington had always declined to publicly discuss the aerial operations.
The drone attacks, initiated by former US President George W. Bush, have been escalated under President Barack Obama.
The attack Just before dawn on Saturday was the 300th drone attack carried out by the US in the Pakistan’s tribal areas, CIA drones struck a housing compound in Angor Adda, South Waziristan. Up to six alleged militants died in the attack with at least three injured. The casualties were linked to local militant commander Maulvi Nazir. He is viewed as hostile by the US because of militant attacks inside Afghanistan, despite his having a long-standing peace deal with Pakistan.
The CIA attack is the fourth in Waziristan in last 48 hours. On Friday more than 2,000 mourners attended the funeral of Maulana Iftiqar, the head of a local religious school – and reported jihadist – killed in a strike the day before. A local politician Ahmed Jan Qureshi told the assembled mourners at the funeral that that ‘America should realise that these attacks are causing hate against it, and see these thousands of people who are here to attend funeral of a martyr.’
The Bureau has now identified 300 drone strikes since 17th June 2004, of these 248, have occurred during the President Obama’s three years in office, rising to a frequency of one attack in every four days on average. The following are the figures compiled by the bureau.
In Numbers: CIA drone strikes in Pakistan
Total reported killed : 2,318 – 2,912
Civilians reported killed : 386 – 775
Childrens reported killed : 173
Total reported injured : 1,141- 1,225
Total reported strikes : 300
Obama strikes : 248
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