US Drone Strike Kills at Least 14 in North Waziristan

Panic in Pakistan's Tribal Areas as Drones, Warplanes an Almost Constant Menace

by Jason Ditz, December 28, 2009

The death toll in this weekend’s US drone attack on North Waziristan continued to rise today, and is now reportedly at least 14 killed and several others seriously wounded.

Officials claim the house attacked belonged to the Haqqani militant faction, and reports had the people inside sitting down for dinner at the time of the missile strike. Security officials say they assume all those killed were militants, including one heretofore unknown “commander” named Abdur Wazir.

And while tribesmen were probably getting used to the virtually constant presence of American drones overhead, ready and willing to kill anyone in the region at a moment’s notice, reports of B-52 heavy bombers mixed in among the drones has caused a panic, amid fear the US is about to raise the stakes in its constant interdiction of the region.

Officially, Pakistan’s government has objected to the drone strikes, but behind the scenes it has been repeatedly confirmed that the government has agreements with the US on the attacks and even gets to select some of the targets.

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