US drone strikes kill seven in Pakistan Taliban stronghold
Two US drone attacks killed seven in a Pakistan Taliban stronghold Wednesday, although militants elsewhere continued to inflict their own casualties by killing five Pakistani police at a security checkpoint.
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Two US drone attacks killed at least seven fighters in a Taliban stronghold in northwest Pakistan on Wednesday. In a separate province, militants attacked a security checkpoint, killing five Pakistani policemen.
The drone strikes come as the US has stepped up aerial attacks in Pakistan’s tribal regions since the bombing of a CIA base killed seven Americans in December. Drone attacks in Pakistan have also steadily increased during the Obama administration, soaring 47 percent during his first year in the White House.
Wednesday’s airstrikes were in North Waziristan, known to be a Taliban stronghold in the country’s restive northwestern tribal region. Agence France-Presse reports that the missiles hit the villages of Hamzoni and Myzer Madhakhel, killing at least seven insurgents total, though it was not known whether any of them were high-level fighters. (Click here to see a map.)
Pakistani newspaper Dawn reports that the men killed were fighters for Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a Taliban leader whose forces fight against coalition solders in Afghanistan. Dawn also reports that the militants killed were foreign.
As The Christian Science Monitor reported in a briefing on drones last year, the US airstrikes are deeply unpopular with Pakistan’s public, partly because of the many civilian casualties they have caused, and have ignited resentment both against the US and against Pakistan for allowing the US to launch the attacks. Pakistan publicly denounces the attacks, but in reality has cooperated with the US.