The Obama Administration’s policy of escalating drone strikes took another hit today, after the explosion from a drone attack against the house of “suspected militants” in North Waziristan also destroyed a neighboring house full of women and children.
The combined toll from the blast was 20 people killed, with at least four women and three children among the slain. At least 13 other civilians were also reported wounded, including a number of other children.
Pakistani intelligence officials say most of the “suspects” killed in the attacks were Afghans, but it is unclear how much evidence they had of wrongdoing. Large numbers of Afghan civilians have been living as refugees in the tribal areas since the 2001 US invasion.
The large numbers of civilians (700 in 2009 alone) killed in the US drone strikes has fueled considerable anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. When pressed during a previous visit Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shrugged off concerns about the civilians, saying only “there’s a war going on.”