At least 10 “suspected militants” were reported killed today and five others wounded when US drones attacked a house in the Datta Khel division of Pakistan’s North Waziristan Agency. The attack was the eighth distinct strike in the past eight days.
The Obama Administration has dramatically escalated the number of drone strikes in recent weeks, making attacks virtually a daily occurance. Though most of the slain are shrugged off as “suspects” and never conclusively identified, very few “high value targets” are ever killed and the number of civilians slain is staggering.
The attacks have been hugely controversial in Pakistan, though its government has quietly supported the strikes (while publicly condemning them on occasion). The attacks are considerable noteworthy now in the wake of a cross-border attack by NATO helicopters that killed three Pakistani soldiers.
NATO and US officials eventually apologized for the helicopter attack but the much broader policy of large scale killings in tribal area drone strikes is both continuing and escalating. It may not come with the same consequences for ties between governments, but has more far reaching problems with Pakistan’s civilian population, which is bearing the brunt of the attacks.
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