U.S. Missiles Kill 13 in Pakistan

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Two U.S. drone strikes struck Islamist militants in Pakistan's tribal badlands on Thursday, killing at least 13 fighters in North Waziristan near the Afghan border, officials said.

The aircraft fired missiles hours apart on separate targets in what is considered the premier bastion of Taliban and al-Qaida in Pakistan as the government in Islamabad welcomed the Afghan and Iranian leaders for a summit.

Five militants were killed in the first attack that destroyed a compound in Spalga town near Miranshah and at least eight died in the second attack on a vehicle near the town of Mir Ali, about 25 kilometers to the east.

"The death toll may rise," a Pakistani security official warned Agence France Presse after the second strike targeted militants travelling in a double cabin pick-up.

"At least eight militant have been killed in the second strike," he said, describing them all as "foreigners".

Another security official in Miranshah, the capital of North Waziristan, put the death toll at 12, saying they were all Uzbek Islamist fighters.

"The vehicle caught fire and the dead bodies are badly mutilated," he added.

The United States says Pakistan's tribal belt provides sanctuary to Taliban fighting in Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda groups plotting attacks on the West, and Pakistani Taliban who routinely bomb Pakistan and other foreign fighters.

Those killed in the first attack were loyalists of Badar Mansoor and the Haqqani network, loyal to the Afghan Taliban whose leaders are understood to be based in North Waziristan, one of the Pakistani officials said.

Last Thursday, officials said Mansoor, described as the "de facto leader of al-Qaida in Pakistan" was killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan.

Mansoor was considered one of America's main targets in the country, wanted for bomb attacks on the minority Ahmadi sect that killed nearly 100 people in May 2010 and the chief link between al-Qaida and the Pakistani Taliban.

The United States has blamed the Haqqani network for some of the most spectacular attacks carried out in Kabul, including last September's siege of the U.S. embassy.

On Thursday, Pakistan hosted Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a regional summit at a key juncture in peace efforts with the Taliban.

President Barack Obama last month confirmed for the first time that U.S. drones target Taliban and al-Qaida militants on Pakistani soil, but American officials do not discuss details of the covert program.

According to an AFP tally, 45 U.S. missile strikes were reported in Pakistan's tribal belt in 2009, the year Obama took office, 101 in 2010 and 64 in 2011.

The program has dramatically increased as the Obama administration looks to withdraw all foreign combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

U.S. diplomatic cables leaked by WikiLeaks in late 2010 showed that Pakistan's civilian and military leaders privately supported U.S. drone attacks, despite public condemnation in a country where the U.S. alliance is hugely unpopular.

The New America Foundation think-tank in Washington says drone strikes in Pakistan have killed between 1,715 and 2,680 people in the past eight years.

Pakistan is reviewing its entire alliance with the United States and has kept its Afghan border closed to NATO supply convoys since the November strike.

It ordered U.S. personnel to leave the Shamsi air base in southwestern Pakistan, widely believed to have been a hub for the CIA drone program, and is thought likely to only reopen the Afghan border by exacting taxes on convoys.

Comments 7
Missing lebcan 16 February 2012, 10:41

Allah (swt) help the Pakistani and the Iranian people over throw the treasonous Military and and Civil Governments... These attacks will only add fuel to the fire and the Americans and Zionists know this ... and the Americans want us to be at each others throats and make life expensive because of petrol ... First Control the Energy of the World then Control the Food of the world then then they control the people... kind of off topic, check this youtube video out... the Zionist Americans and western powers just want to be seen to be doing something good but their only doing a PR thing and when people stop paying attention they stop there good work http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXoZdHJhXPM. Why? of course MONEY and CONTROL...

Missing lebcan 16 February 2012, 10:45

p.s. Don't think Iran and saudi is any more innocent ... high oil prices is very very nice for them too... and people control.

Thumb jabalamel 17 February 2012, 00:25

iran is benefiting from higher oil price, but it's not them threatening to attack anyone, so they are not directly involved in media scare that makes oil price high

Default-user-icon Bubba Shakour (Guest) 16 February 2012, 15:21

Too bad they didn't kill 14. That would have pleased the m3alla2in bi 7bel el hawa, aka March 14, a lot. Coincidentally, everything is 14 these days. Even they have been acting like 14 year olds! inguigha

Thumb jabalamel 17 February 2012, 00:24

now this is really sick

Thumb Abubakr 16 February 2012, 18:54

The Liberation of Israel will come from Pakistan , dont let Iran delude you, Pakistan is the strongest muslims nation with a Nuclear Bomb already, they are done experimenting years ago. Iran is yet far to reach that level. I pray that the people of pakistan Over throw the govt and military and establish Khilafa #1

Thumb jabalamel 17 February 2012, 00:26

the caliphate maniac is hallucinating that liberation from genocidal zionist entity comes from pakistan and not iran. this is double hallucination because only help comes from iran, and liberation comes from lebanese.