Pak Army admits majority of US drone attack casualties were terrorists, foreignersMarch 9th, 2011 - 12:25 pm ICT by ANI
Miramshah, Mar 9(ANI): The Pakistan military has given the official version of US drone attacks in the nation’s tribal region for the first time, and said that most of those killed were “hardcore” Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists, though a “few civilian casualties” also took place.
In a rather rare move, General Officer Commanding 7-Division Major-General Ghayur Mehmood spoke candidly about the US drone campaign during a briefing.
“Myths and rumours about US predator strikes and the casualty figures are many, but it’s a reality that many of those being killed in these strikes are hardcore elements, a sizeable number of them foreigners,” the Dawn quoted Major-General Ghayur, as saying.
“Yes there are a few civilian casualties in such precision strikes, but a majority of those eliminated are terrorists, including foreign terrorist elements,” he added.
The official paper of the 7-Division on the attacks till Monday said that about 164 predator strikes had been carried out between 2007 and 2011, and over 964 terrorists had been killed.
Of those killed, 793 were locals and 171 were foreigners, including Arabs, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Chechens, Filipinos and Moroccans.
39 militants, including five foreigners, were killed in attacks till March 7 this year alone.
Major-General Ghayur, who is in-charge of the troops in North Waziristan, admitted that the drone attacks had a negative fallout, scaring the local population and causing their migration to other places.
He said the drone attacks also had social and political repercussions and that the law enforcement agencies often felt the heat.
About the cross-border movement of terrorists along the Pak-Afghan border, he said: “Well we have over 820 check posts along the border to stop militant movement and there is strict vigilance, but unfrequented routes are an exception for which alternate means, including intelligence-sharing between coalition troops and the army, are in place.” (ANI)
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Tags: afghan border, border movement, casualty figures, check posts, civilian casualties, coalition troops, drone, filipinos, law enforcement agencies, moroccans, negative fallout, north waziristan, pak army, pakistan military, political repercussions, precision strikes, rare move, sizeable number, tajiks, terrorist elements