Though there have surely been single strikes which netted a much larger death toll, like the June attack on a South Waziristan funeral, the United States today launched the single largest coordinated drone attack against a target inside Pakistan today.
In the attack, at least nine of the unmanned warplanes fired some 18 missiles against the tiny village of Deegan, in Datta Khel, killing at least 17 people and injuring numerous others. The toll is expected to rise as the attacks, which hit multiple homes, left many people buried in rubble around the village.
Officials say that Deegan is considered a “Taliban stronghold,” but they have been unable to verify if any of the people killed in the attack were actually militants, or simply innocent villagers caught in the endless air war against North Waziristan.
The attack was the latest in an ever escalating campaign of air strikes by the Obama Administration, the 13th distinct attack in 2010 alone. The attacks have killed around 150 people, but only a handful of those casualties are believed to have been militant leaders. Analysts say the dramatic increase in 2010 is “revenge” for the December 30 attack on a CIA base in Khost.