US Drone Strike Kills 12 in North Waziristan

Key Haqqani Faction Town Was Also Hit in September

Last Updated 8/21 10:55 AM EST

US drones fired missiles at the North Waziristan town on Darpa Kheil, just outside of Miramshah, killing at least 12 people and wounding an as-yet unknown number of others. The town is the home of a major religious school set up by the Haqqani family, and has been a target of US strikes in the past.

In early September of last year the US struck the religious school, killing at least 23, many of them civilians. Today’s strike hit what officials called a “suspected militant hideout,” with the claim that US officials believed Siraj Haqqani may have been present at the time, but there is no indication he was actually killed in the attack.

The Haqqani family is led by the elderly Jalaluddin Haqqani, Siraj’s father and a veteran of the US-back mujahideen which opposed the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan who later became an opponent of the US occupaiton of Afghanistan. The family has been in the news is recent months when it was reported that they had “bought” a US soldier who had been kidnapped in Afghanistan by Taliban forces.

The attack is also the third US strike on North Waziristan this month, at a time when the Pakistani government is trying to prevent their military offensive in South Waziristan spilling over into the restive north.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.