Fresh U.S. drone strikes kill 4 people in North Waziristan

August 3rd, 2011 - 2:36 am ICT by BNO News  

MIRANSHAH, PAKISTAN (BNO NEWS) — Fresh U.S. drone strikes killed at least four people on Tuesday in Pakistan’s volatile North Waziristan region, officials said.

The unmanned aircraft reportedly fired two missiles against a vehicle in the Miranshah area of North Waziristan, according to the Express Tribune. Reports indicated that four people were killed, but locals said casualties are expected to rise.

Earlier on Tuesday, a group of Taliban fighters launched an attack against Pakistani soldiers in the South Waziristan tribal area near the Afghan border. With the use of machine guns, the fighters attacked a military post near the town of Ladha before fleeing into the mountains. Two Pakistani soldiers were killed at the scene.

On Monday, a U.S. drone launched two missile strikes against another vehicle in South Waziristan’s Azam Warsak, killing at least four people. Two Pakistani officials confirmed the number of deaths although the killed were not identified.

The previous reported U.S. drone strike occurred on July 12 when dozens of suspected militants were killed during a series of strikes in 24 hours. At least 32 people were reported killed when the air strikes hit both North and South Waziristan. The air strikes were launched only one day after $800 million in U.S. military aid to Pakistan was delayed as increasing tensions continue between the two countries, in part because of the U.S. drone strikes.

Controversy has surrounded the drone strikes - which have amounted to over 30 this year - as local residents and officials have blamed them for killing innocent civilians and motivating young men to join the Taliban. Details about the alleged militants are usually not provided.

In June, at least seven U.S. drone strikes were conducted in South and North Waziristan, which was heavily targeted in 2010. Around 90 suspected militants were killed during the strikes.

In April, more than 40 people were killed in U.S. drone strikes in the volatile tribal region of North Waziristan, prompting thousands of Pakistanis to gather and protest against the attacks during a two-day sit-in.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said in its annual report that the U.S. drone strikes were responsible for 957 extra-legal killings in 2010. Since August 2008, there have been over 250 drone attacks that have reportedly killed more than 1,500 people in North and South Waziristan.

Pakistan’s Afghan border, which the United States considers to be the most dangerous place on Earth, is known to be a stronghold of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network, considered one of the top terrorist organizations and threats to U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

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