Carnage in Pakistan’s Tribal Region Continues: US Drones Kill 21 Thurs., Suicide Bomber Kills 26 Fri.

Despite some prospects on negotiations toward peace looking better in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the carnage in Pakistan’s tribal areas continues at a rapid pace. Two separate US drone attacks in North Waziristan on Thursday killed 21 people and a suspected suicide bomber killed 26 in the Kurram Agency region on Friday.

According to Dawn, the first drone attack killed six:

According to sources, six people were killed and two others injured when two missiles slammed into a compound in the village of Spilga near Miramshah. The identities of the persons who died could not be ascertained.

The second attack was just a few hours later:

Hours later, another drone attacked a moving vehicle on the Zekerkhel-Khaisur road in Mirali tehsil.

Official sources said 15 members of a militant group were killed. Their bodies were charred.

The article noted that “unmanned planes” continued to fly around the area as local rescuers came to the scene.

There were reports that those killed in the second attack were Uzbek.

As for those killed in the first attack:

Those who died in the first attack belonged to Badar Mansoor and the Haqqani network, loyal to the Afghan Taliban, another official said. Last Thursday, officials said Mansoor, described as the “de facto leader of Al Qaeda in Pakistan” had been killed in a drone strike in North Waziristan.

There appears to be a Haqqani network tie to the suspected suicide bomb attack earlier today in Kurram Agency:

The bomber struck outside the mosque in a busy market in Parachinar, the main town in Kurram, after Friday prayers, in the latest attack by Sunni militants against minority Shias.


Fazal Saeed, leader of a breakaway faction of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the attack.

“We have targeted the Shia community of Parachinar because they were involved in activities against us,” he told Reuters by telephone from an undisclosed location.


He is said to have close ties with the Haqqani militant group, one of the most feared factions of the Afghan Taliban.

The Express Tribune coverage of this attack states that there were 26 deaths and also raises questions of whether it was a suicide bomber or another type of blast, but the Dawn article appears to be at least two hours more recent than the Express Tribune article. A Reuters article just a few minutes old as of this writing also placed the death toll in the bombing at 26 and said that it was the work of a suicide bomber.

It’s very difficult to see how either the US or the Taliban can be engaged in peace negotiations while at the same time killing large numbers of people. For both sets of killings, it appears there are more than enough survivors in the area to take up the cause of those killed, perpetuating the cycle of killing.

7 replies
  1. MadDog says:

    The view held by many of the US’s political, military, and diplomatic elite is that US drones are a successful replacement for US boots on the ground.

    They’ve worked this narrative so successfully with the MSM that recent polls show that the majority of Americans have happily swallowed this myth whole.

    Should polls ever be conducted of those who live in the areas of the world targeted by US drones, I would guess these would be some of the results:

    1) Is viewed as an example of cowardice by the US rather than US superiority.
    2) Increases anger at the US.
    3) Increases number of folks willing to strike back at the US.

    Meanwhile, happily ensconced in their Beltway ivory towers, our leaders think they are “winning the game”.

    Nothing could be further from the truth!

  2. Bob Schacht says:

    @MadDog: For me, the question is not whether to do it, but how can it be done better? For better or worse, drone warfare is going to be the signature feature of war in this century.

    Bob in AZ

  3. Jeff Kaye says:

    Then,there are bombings, old-fashioned-style, i.e., air strikes. From last Monday:

    (Reuters) – NATO-led forces in Afghanistan said on Monday they found the bodies of dead children after a coalition air strike that has enraged the Afghan government, and said their deaths may have been linked to an anti-insurgent operation in the area….

    NATO aircraft and ground forces attacked insurgents on open ground in the Najrab district of Kapisa, said Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for NATO’s 130,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

    “Following the engagement additional casualties were discovered and these casualties were young Afghans of varying ages,” Jacobson told reporters.

    “At this point in our assessment we can neither confirm nor deny, with reasonable assurance, a direct link to the engagement. Nonetheless, any death of innocents not associated with armed conflict is a tragedy,” he said.

    Afghan government officials showed gruesome photographs of eight dead boys, and said seven of them had been aged between six and 14, while one had been around 18 years old. They were bombed twice while herding sheep in heavy snow and lighting a fire to keep warm, they said.

    Would any of us here be involved in bombings or attacks on the “coalition” forces of any foreign invasion of our country? Would such opponents of foreign invasion be “terrorists”?

    The US intervention is a crime, and US troops, contractors, and intelligence paramilitaries should leave Afghanistan now.

  4. Bob Schacht says:

    @Jeff Kaye: The big problems are (a) we do not allow external agencies to evaluate incidents like this, and (b) Just about the only criteria the internal assessment considers is, were the combatants following the applicable Rules of Engagement, or not? If the Rules of Engagement were followed, too bad, kiddos, that’s collateral damage. We’ll say we’re sorry (please see form 16A), and maybe pay off the family. Now move on, folks, nothing more to see here.

    Bob in AZ

  5. Quanto says:

    drone attacks in North Waziristan on Thursday killed 21 people

    Jim, correction needed. Insurgents, terrorists,Al-Qaeda maybe, but we don’t kill people./s

  6. PeasantParty says:

    Somebody forgot to tell Vickers and those at the Pentagon that there were talks going on.

    Honestly, there is no excuse anymore. The US can’t stop killing long enough to have diplomatic dialogue. They might as well tell US citizens and the entire world that they want to kill anybody that doesn’t stand in line.

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