News / Asia

Drone Strike Kills 6 in Northwest Pakistan

Location

Ayaz Gul
A suspected U.S. drone has carried out a rare missile attack outside Pakistan's northwestern militant-dominated region, killing among others, a senior fugitive commander of the Afghan insurgency. Local officials have confirmed at least six deaths in the attack and there are children among those wounded.  The head of the regional ruling party has vowed that his supporters will block NATO supplies on Saturday to protest U.S. drones.

The pre-dawn drone attack in the district of Hangu targeted an Islamic seminary where some members of the Haqqani network of Afghan insurgents were said to be present.

The strike destroyed the facility, called a madrassa in local language, and the video footage on Pakistani TV stations showed the place was littered with shoes and pools of blood.

One of the men killed is identified as Maulvi Ahmad Jan believed to be a senior adviser to Sirajuddin Haqqani, the chief of what U.S. officials describe as the most feared Afghan group battling foreign troops in Afghanistan along side the Taliban.

CIA-run drones have targeted militants and their sanctuaries in Pakistan's semiautonomous tribal region but Thursday's missile strike was only the second to have taken place deep inside the country's urban population and is likely to raise tensions between Islamabad and Washington. The previous drone attack also took place in a neighboring Bannu district in 2008.

The latest strike has outraged federal and provincial authorities. Imran Khan, the leader of the party ruling Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, has alleged children were also among the victims. Speaking to VOA, Khan feared there will be more revenge attacks inside Pakistan because of the American action.

"The lame excuse is that these were suspected militants or people who were training suicide attackers. The point is that there is going to now revenge attacks. The revenge attacks will be on Pakistanis. So, these were Pakistanis killed the revenge will be on Pakistani soldiers, on our security forces," he said.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province serves as a major route for supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan. Khan said that his supporters would hold a massive rally on Saturday in the provincial capital to protest drone strikes.

"We are going to block the NATO supply line from Pakhtunkhwa until we are given an assurity that there will be no drone attacks," he said.

Pakistan's foreign ministry protested the strike, condemning it as a violation of the country's territorial sovereignty and reiterating that such actions damage its efforts to control militants.

While it is widely believed that the United States has carried out some drone strikes with covert support from Pakistani authorities, Islamabad has recently stepped up its opposition to the operations.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a meeting with President Barack Obama in Washington last month, urged the American leader to end drone strikes in Pakistan. However, U.S. officials insisted drones have become an effective counterterrorism tool.

A drone attack earlier this month killed the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud, who was blamed for killing of thousands of people, including Pakistani security forces. The dead militant was also blamed for facilitating attacks on American targets in Afghanistan.

However, leaders in Islamabad said that attack had destroyed government-sponsored efforts to engage the Islamist insurgents in peace talks because it happened just hours before the peace process was to begin.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid