News / Asia

US Missile Strikes Kill 24 in NW Pakistan

A US Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile sets off from its hangar at Bagram air base [file photo]
A US Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile sets off from its hangar at Bagram air base [file photo]

Multimedia

Audio
Ayaz Gul

Two U.S. missile strikes Tuesday in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal region of North Waziristan killed at least 24 suspected militants.

Pakistani security officials say the targets of the missile strike were located in the Dattakhel district of the North Waziristan tribal region. More than a dozen missiles fired by a U.S drone struck a compound and nearby vehicles.

The area borders Afghanistan and is considered a stronghold of Pakistani as well as al-Qaida fighters. The militants are blamed for cross-border attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces.

Suspected U.S. drones have carried out scores of missile strikes in the Waziristan region in recent years, killing hundreds of alleged militants.

The government has no control over most of the mountainous territory and it is not possible to seek an independent confirmation of the damages in drone attacks because journalists are not allowed to go there.

There have been several drone missile strikes in North Waziristan since a failed attempt to detonate a car bomb May first in New York.

The attempted terrorist act has refocused international attention on the tribal region because the Pakistan-born American citizen detained in connection with the incident has allegedly told U.S investigators he received training in the Waziristan region.

American officials also believe the Pakistani Taliban were behind the bomb plot and have formally requested Islamabad to help investigate those links.

Speaking to reporters, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi reiterated his country's support, saying the two countries are closely cooperating to defeat terrorism. But he would not discuss the status of the ongoing investigation.

"Pakistan has been cooperating, and the U.S authorities have recognized Pakistan's active cooperative role in finding out the truth behind this incident. But it is premature to make a value judgment at this stage because it is an evolving situation. Investigation are yet not complete," Qureshi said.

U.S Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has warned of serious consequences if a successful terrorist attack on America is traced back to Pakistan. Foreign Minister Qureshi says such statements are unlikely to undermine his country's ties with Washington.

"There is no need for, in my opinion, emotional reaction to some of the statements that have been made. There is nothing to worry (about)," he adds. "Our relationship is smooth and it is moving towards a partnership."

But opposition politicians and independent observers say when U.S leaders publicly criticize their close ally, while the New York incident is under investigation, it fuels anti-America sentiment in the country.

Wasim Sajjad is the opposition leader in Senate, the upper house of Pakistani parliament.

"The people of Pakistan react adversely to such comments and it does have an impact on them. If it does not have an impact at the government level I would not know," said Sajjad. "But I can tell you that the parliament has reacted, the people have reacted and they have not liked this (U.S) reaction because there are terrorist incidents all over."

Pakistan has conducted major anti-Taliban military operations particularly in its tribal regions near the Afghan border. The militants, in return, have carried out deadly attacks on security forces and civilian targets across the country.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs