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Buoyed by hits, US ups drone strikes in Waziristan

Last updated on: June 6, 2011 14:41 IST

US ups drone strikes in Waziristan

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Tahir Ali in Islamabad
As militants escape the north Waziristan hideout following Islamabad's decision to take on the Taliban in the region, they are becoming easy pray for US drones, reports Tahir Ali. 

The United States has increased drone strikes in the south Waziristan region bordering Pakistan after it successfully took out Ilyas Kashmiri, head of the Al Qaeda's dreaded 313-brigade.

On Monday, US drones hit three different targets in tribal area killing of 19 militants, including seven foreigners.

The first attack took place occurred in Dana village at Birmal tehsil (subdivision) of South Waziristan where a three-room mud house near a seminary was targeted.

The attack killed 10 persons and injured two. Those killed include two foreigners and five Punjabi Taliban representing the Ilyas Kashmiri group.

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Two hours later another drone attack at Shaalam area of South Waziristan targetted a house where some foreigners were residing.

According to locals, five Turkmenis were amongst the killed.

The third attack was carried out at Shawaal area of North Waziristan where a drone fired two missiles at a car carrying four Taliban men.

The Waziristan area, known as a hotbed for national and international militants, is also the headquarters of the Haqqani network (that has been behind many attacks inside Afghanistan.



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The Haqqani network has good relations with Pakistan's ISI. So the latter has been reluctant to carry out operations in the region.

However, following mounting international pressure, Islamabad is now compelled to take on militants in the area. Even though officials in Islamabad deny any military operation being launched in north Waziristan, militants in the area have started moving to neighbouring areas like south Waziristan, Orakzai and Khyber agencies.

The one-eyed Ilyas Kashmiri was also believed to have been residing in north Waziristan. Some 10 days prior to his killing, he was shifted to Wana, the headquarters of south Waziristan.

Keeping in mind the exodus of militants from north Waziristan to south, the US has shifted the course of its drones to Wana and its surrounding.


Image: A Hellfire is attached to a Predator drone

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