As US prepares troop withdrawal, Taliban’s strong hold on border regions reveals Pakistan’s vulnerability.
Two US drone attacks have killed at least 21 people in Pakistan’s tribal region along the Afghan border, Pakistani security officials say.
Both attacks took place on Monday in the South Waziristan region, where Pakistani forces are fighting Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters, the German news agency DPA said.
In the first attack, a missile hit a moving vehicle in Ghalmandi Panga village, killing eight fighters.
A Pakistani intelligence official said that a US drone aircraft fired four missiles at a lorry in the
“The … vehicle was completely destroyed in the attack and the locals have pulled eight bodies from it,” the officer said.
Reports from the remote area indicated that three “foreigners” and five local Taliban fighters were killed, the official said.
Second missile raid
A few hours later, another missile attack took place on a house in the Manto area, about 30km north of South Waziristan’s main town of Wana.
“A drone fired two missiles at the compound. We have received reports that so far 13 people have been confirmed killed in the second attack,” said a second intelligence officer, who also sought
The identity of those killed in the second attack was not immediately known.
In a separate incident on Monday, armed men attacked and shot dead a Pakistani Taliban commander in Miranshah, in North Waziristan, Reuters reported.
The commander, Shakirullah Shakir, was also a Taliban spokesman.
The US is said to have increased its drone attacks in Pakistan’s tribal region in recent months to eliminate al-Qaeda and Taliban hideouts.
At least 88 fighters have been killed by US drones this month, according to a Reuters tally based on statements from intelligence officials.
Pakistan publicly opposes drone attacks, saying it complicates its efforts to fight Taliban and its allies.
The US has been pushing Pakistan to step up its war against fighters who carry out attacks on Western forces in Afghanistan from their bases in Pakistan’s tribal belt.