U.S. drone strike kills many attending funeral for militant in Pakistan

June 24, 2009

(ChattahBox) — A suspected US drone killed perhaps 50 Pakistani Taliban on Tuesday in South Waziristan, taking full advantage to target militants attending a funeral of an insurgent commander killed earlier in the day, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

“Three missiles were fired by drones as people were dispersing after offering funeral prayers for Niaz Wali,” one intelligence official said, referring to a Taliban commander who was one of six militants killed in an earlier drone attack.

If confirmed, the strike would be the 23rd by a U.S. drone this year, as the Obama administration has intensified a policy inherited from the Bush administration. Pakistan has been publicly critical of drone attacks, arguing that they kill civilians and fuel support for militants.

South Waziristan is the main stronghold of the Pakistan Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, and where the Pakistani army is preparing a new offensive as the final phase of the operations originally started in theĀ  Swat Valley in May.

Mehsud, an al-Qaeda ally accused of plotting the 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister, had perhaps attended the funeral according to reports, but was not hurt, a Taliban official said.

The United States has offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to Mehsud’s location or arrest.

In a separate incident earlier on Tuesday, tribal leader Qari Zainuddin, who often criticized Baitullah Mehsud and was considered his main rival was shot dead by a gunman in north-western Pakistan. Zainuddin, a Taliban commander, had spoken out strongly against Mehsud and may have been about to mount a challenge against him.


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2 Responses to “U.S. drone strike kills many attending funeral for militant in Pakistan”

  1. U.S. drone strike kills many attending funeral for militant in Pakistan Adding Info on June 24th, 2009 7:47 am

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  2. U.S. drone strike kills many attending funeral for militant in Pakistan Adding Info on June 24th, 2009 9:30 am

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