News / Asia

Suspected US Drone Attack Kills 12 in NW Pakistan

It is unclear whether Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud was killed in the attack.

Suspected US Drone Attack Kills 12 in NW Pakistan
Suspected US Drone Attack Kills 12 in NW Pakistan

Pakistani security officials say a suspected American missile strike near the Afghan border in northwestern Pakistan has killed 12 militants.  The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say they believe the target was Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud.  But it is unclear whether Mehsud was killed.

The latest attack hit a militant training camp on the border between Pakistan's North and South Waziristan tribal region.  

Following word of the missile strike, representatives for Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud called local media, claiming the militant leader had escaped unharmed.

It is difficult to verify these claims because the area is largely autonomous and a known sanctuary for al-Qaida and Taliban militants.

Suspected U.S. missile strikes in Pakistan's northwest have killed several militant leaders, including the previous head of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, in mid-2009.

Security analyst Inam Wazir tells VOA that even if, Hakimullah Mehsud was killed, he does not believe it would not make much of a difference in the fight against militants.  He says there are plenty of others left that could take Mehsud's place.

"There is a series of leadership - even eight to 10 great - in each and every tribal area in their own group," Wazir said.

Pakistan's military publicly has ignored North Waziristan, where mainly Afghan Taliban elements are located.  Pakistan instead has focused its military efforts on South Waziristan, where the Pakistani Taliban is headquartered.  That faction is blamed for launching attacks, largely within Pakistan.

The strike occurred as U.S. special envoy to the region Richard Holbrooke visits parts of Pakistan.

Late Wednesday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi addressed the media, alongside Holbrooke, saying there are certain "red lines" that the United States must not cross.

"Despite the partnership that we enjoy, Pakistan feels that it will undermine our relationship if there is [an] expansion of drones and if there are [military] operations on [the] ground," Qureshi said.

But Holbrooke sought to downplay Pakistani objections.

"We believe relations between the United States and Pakistan are better today than they were a year ago," Holbrooke said. "On the other hand, there are some obvious and very public issues between the two countries.  That is natural.  Friends can disagree."

Late last month, both the Pakistani and Afghan factions of Taliban separately claimed responsibility for a suicide bomber that killed seven U.S. intelligence agents in eastern Afghanistan.

Since then, the United States has intensified attacks with its unmanned aircraft, known as drones, in the Afghan border region.  There have been seven strikes there this month.   
 

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid