At least seven people were killed today when US drones fired missiles into North Waziristan Agency, putting a grim cap on tribesmen’s four day celebration of Eid al-Fitr, one of the most significant holidays of the year.
The attack is the 50th reported drone strike of the year, with a reported death toll of 451. Though virtually the entire 451 toll is still officially listed as “suspects” only a handful have ever been confirmed as known militants. Large numbers are likely to never be identified as anything more than tribesmen.
The drone strikes have been escalating since early summer, after the arrest of Raymond Davis over a double murder in Lahore lead to a brief lull in the strikes. The Pakistani government has repeatedly demanded that the US halt the attacks.
The US has ruled out stopping the strikes, however, and also refused a demand from the Pakistani Defense Ministry to abandon a Pakistani air base in Balochistan. US forces remain on the site, but insist the drones from there are only used for surveillance.