Pakistani Troops Pound Waziristan Village, Killing 40

Officials Assume All Casualties Are 'Militants'

In a move officials said was retaliation for recent bombings on military targets, Pakistani attack helicopters opened fire on a North Waziristan village, destroying a number of homes, killing at least 40 people and wounding scores of others.

The attack is typical of the Pakistani military’s heavy-handed and indiscriminate attacks on tribal towns they consider to be “militant bases,” and why Pakistan’s “anti-militant” operations often end up with huge humanitarian crises and little meaningful gain attached.

Though the split between militants and civilians in today’s attack remains unknown, and likely will never be officially acknowledged, the Pakistani Army termed every single casualty to be a “militant.”

Though this might raise hope the military is being careful, the Pakistani Army’s first retaliation against the region over the weekend destroyed a home with several young children within, and the military likewise dubbed them “militants.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.