News / Asia

Drone Strike Targets Taliban Stronghold

VOA News
Pakistani officials say a U.S. drone strike has killed eight suspected militants near the Afghan border, in an area considered a stronghold of the Taliban.

Officials said an al-Qaida operative is believed to be among the victims of the strike near the town of Mir Ali in North Waziristan.

The attack early Tuesday is the latest in a spate of attacks reported in the border region. On Sunday, Pakistani officials said at least nine suspected Taliban fighters were killed in a drone strike on suspected hideouts in South Waziristan.

And, a top Pakistani commander was killed in a drone strike before that. The incidents indicate the Obama administration is committed to using drones to target Islamic militants.

The Pakistani government has long publicly condemned the drone strikes as a violation of its sovereignty, but the attacks are believed to be carried out with some help from Pakistan's intelligence.

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by: Michael Robbins from: Baltimore, MD
January 09, 2013 4:51 PM
The drone strikes are scoring spectacular successes, but one must assume that there will be some form of reprisals.

Mullah Nazir, a top Taliban leader, who was taken out a few days ago by a drone strike, had close links to both the Haqqani network and Pakistan intelligence outfit ISI – a lethal duo that does not like its members or allies targeted and killed without response in kind.

The Haqqani network, with logistic support from the ISI, masterminded the assault on the US Consulate in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 that resulted in the death of four Americans including Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

The assault, which was carried out by the Libyan militant group Ansar al-Shariah, al-Qaeda elements, and members of the Pakistani diaspora in Libya, was in direct retaliation for the death of Badruddin Haqqani and al-Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi; both were killed by US drone attacks in Wazirstan, Pakistan.

ISI of Pakistan wanted to avenge the Abbottabad raid that killed the honored guest of Pakistan, Osama bin Laden, and humiliated the nation of Pakistan.

It is high likely that the Haqqani network will retaliate with terrorist attacks on US interests in response to the drone campaign.

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