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

Multimedia In US, Decision Expected Soon in Racially Charged Case

Missouri town, many Americans on edge over whether jurors will indict white police officer in August shooting death of unarmed black teen More

Corruption Fighters Want More From World’s Strongest Nations

Anti-corruption activists say final communique fell short of expectations and failed to fully address systemic problems More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
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 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 Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
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.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid