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 South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid