US Drone Strike Kills 20 in Pakistan Tribal Area

Officials Say Large Death Toll Proves House Was 'Main' Militant Center

A US drone attacked and destroyed a house in Pakistan’s Kurram tribal agency on Monday evening, leveling the building and killing all within. At least 20 people were reported slain, all termed “militant suspects,” but none identified.

No one seems to know the identities of any of the slain, and as is keeping with US strikes in Pakistan, US officials have not offered any details on why they attacked the site, or even conceded that they’d done so.

Pakistani officials were quick to sign off on the US strike killed “extremists,” however, and marveled at the high death toll, saying 20 killed proved that the house must’ve been a “main center” for militants in the area.

In reality, it’s not clear the US even knew that many people were in the house. Pakistan certainly didn’t, reporting five slain initially before 15 more people were found buried under the rubble, and posthumously declaring them all militants as well.

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.