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

    Pentagon: Afghan Hospital Bombing Not a War Crime

    US Central Command's Joseph Votel says probe found tragedy was result of 'extraordinarily intense situation' that included multiple equipment failures

    US Minorities Link Guns with Other Social Ills

    New study finds reduction in gun violence could help lower America’s incarceration rate – the world’s highest - and improve relationships between police, citizens in minority communities

    US Millennials Beat Baby Boomers as Largest Living Generation

    America's young people are about to take over and here's what we can expect from them

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkey Islamists

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora