Just days after a US missile strike killed nine along North Waziristan’s border with Afghanistan, residents of the area reported another US drone fired two missiles yesterday, killing at least five more. Residents say that tribesmen fired on the invading drones before the attack.
The strike took place in a shanty neighborhood near the town of Miramshah called Machis Colony, and foreigners were among those killed according to one intelligence official. However, the Associated Press cites other officials who say none of those killed were believed to be al-Qaeda fighters.
Witnesses report that drones continued to fly over the region near the attack this morning, sewing panic among the residents. Foreign Ministry Spokesman Muhammad Sadiq has warned that the attacks are undermining the war on terror and that “such strikes will fuel anti-American sentiments which will neither be beneficial for us nor for the United States.”
The strike would be the 12th confirmed US air strike inside Pakistan since late August, part of a revamped strategy for the faltering war in Afghanistan which is aimed at targeting “al-Qaeda safe havens,” But the strikes have centered around border villages and many have killed civilians, leading many tribesmen in the area to take up arms against US forces.
The attacks have also come without the permission of the Pakistani government, fueling complaints that the US is violating Pakistani sovereignty by continuing to launch them. They have also increased tensions with the Pakistani military, which has vowed to prevent foreign fighters from operating on Pakistani soil.