A pair of US drone strikes against Pakistan’s South Waziristan Agency have killed at least 33 people, 16 in South Waziristan and 17 in North Waziristan and wounded four others in the past 24 hours. The majority of the slain “suspects” were unidentified.
The one identified person was Malang Jan, killed in South Waziristan. Jan is identified as an “associate” of Maulvi Nazir, a warlord in South Waziristan who has remained on good terms with the Pakistani government, but who is frequently targeted by the US. Another attack targeted his funeral.
Pakistan’s government has regularly demanded that the US halt all drone strikes, warning that it is fueling massive amounts of militancy in the tribal areas and making matters worse. The US has spurned this demand, insisting that the missile attacks are a vital part of the ongoing war.
The strikes have had an impact well beyond the tribal areas on which they are launched as well. The significant number of civilian deaths, and the overwhelming number of people killed who are just never identified, have added fuel to a growing anti-US backlash across both Pakistan and the rest of the region.