Sources involved in the rescue operation following yesterday’s US attack on a South Waziristan funeral procession reported that at least 35 civilians were among the slain, and that no prominent militant commanders were killed in the strike.
The drone strike, which according to current counts killed at least 80 people, is by far the single deadliest US attack on Pakistani soil since the practice began last year. Pakistani officials expressed muted discontent over the strike.
The reported target of the attack was Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Baitullah Mehsud. Mehsud, who is the target of a massive Pakistani military offensive, had reportedly left the funeral before the attack. TTP spokesmen claim that only five of those slain at the funeral were their members.
Mehsud has claimed credit for several high profile terrorist attacks inside Pakistan, and has threatened to launch attacks against the United States if the drone strikes do not halt. The US State Department put a $5 million bounty on Mehsud in March, though the powerful militant appears to have continued to operate with impunity since then.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Turkey Arrests Reporters as Post-Coup Purge Expands to Media - July 25th, 2016
- Growing Fear in Turkey as Detainees Disappear in State of Emergency - July 24th, 2016
- Amnesty: Credible Evidence Turkey Torturing Post-Coup Detainees - July 24th, 2016
- Erdogan Orders 1,000 Schools Closed as Purge Grows - July 24th, 2016
- Congressmen Push Dueling Plans for US Nuke Arsenal - July 24th, 2016