US Drones Pound Pakistan, Killing at Least 21

Strikes Targeted Two Houses and a Vehicle

by Jason Ditz, June 06, 2011

US drones launched a number of missile attacks against the South Waziristan Agency of Pakistan overnight, killing at least 21 people and wounding an unknown number of others. The strikes destroyed two homes and a religious school in the tribal area as well as a vehicle.

The victims of the attacks were unknown but Pakistani officials say they believe that foreigners were among the slain in the attack on the vehicle.  The US, as usual, did not offer any comment on the attacks.

The strikes come just days after a separate attack on South Waziristan which officials say they believe killed Ilyas Kashmiri, a militant faction leader they blame for the 2008 Mumbai attack. It is the second time Kashmiri was “confirmed” killed in a US drone attack, the previous being in September of 2009.

Pakistan’s government had been demanding the end to the US drone strikes over rising evidence that most of the people being killed were just random tribesmen. The news of Kashmiri’s latest death appears to have stalled those concerns, at least for the time being. The deaths of militant leaders in Waziristan have a notorious history of being temporary, however, and if he reemerges it will likely renew concerns about the program.

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