U.S. Drone Strike Targets Pakistan Taliban | Print | E-mail
Written by Warren Mass
Thursday, 14 January 2010 15:00
Missiles fired from U.S. drone aircraft struck a militant training camp in the Pakisani village of Pasalkot in a remote area of North Waziristan on January 14. Pakistani security officials say the atack killed 12 Taliban militants.

VOA news reported that following word of the missile strike, representatives for Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud contacted the local media, claiming he had escaped unharmed.

Security analyst Inam Wazir told VOA that even if Mehsud was killed, he does not believe it would not make a significant difference in the fight against militants. He said there are many remaining militants that could take Mehsud's place. 

"There is a series of leadership — even eight to 10 great — in each and every tribal area in their own group," said Wazir.

AFP reported that this was the seventh raid by unmanned U.S. planes this month in Pakistan, and that the attacks fuel anti-American sentiment in the Muslim nation, which possesses nuclear weapons. Pasalkot village is very close to the border with South Waziristan, where Pakistan's military are battling Taliban fighters, according to Pakistani officials.

"It was a US drone strike which took place between 7.00 am and 8.00 am. At least 10 people, mostly militants, have been killed in the missile strike. The toll is likely to rise," said a local intelligence official.

"The targeted site was a militant training camp," he told AFP.

U.S. Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee,
 was high critical of Pakistan's leaders because they have privately supported the U.S. drone strikes, but condemn them publicly. "What troubles me is the public attack on these drone attacks when at the same time they've privately obviously not told us that we must stop," said Levin.

Levin complained that Pakistan's leaders "not only understand and acquiesce, but in many cases privately support the drone attacks.