16 March 2009
ISLAMABAD (AFP) – A suspected US missile strike hit the house of a militant leader in northwest Pakistan on Sunday killing at least five people, security officials said.
The missile struck the house in Jani Khel, in the Bannu area of North West Frontier Province near the semi-autonomous North Waziristan tribal area, close to the border with Afghanistan where US troops are fighting the Taliban.
"According to initial information, the identities of those killed were unclear. Neither is it confirmed if there was any high-value target," one security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Another official said five militants were killed in the attack.
The US military as a rule does not confirm drone attacks but the armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operating in Afghanistan are the only forces that deploy drones in the region.
Sunday's attack was the sixth missile strike blamed in Pakistan on unmanned US aircraft since President Barack Obama came to power, dashing Pakistani hopes that the new administration would abandon the policy.
Last Thursday, at least 24 suspected militants were killed in a strike, destroying a Taliban training camp in northwest Pakistan.
Timeline: U.S. Drone Missile Strikes On Suspected Terror Targets In Pakistan
June 18, 2004: 5 killed including Nek Muhammad (Pashtun military leader) in a U.S. missile strike near Wana (Pakistan). Nek Muhammad belonged to the Yargul Khai subclan of the Ahmadzai tribe. At the time of his death Nek Muhammad was accused of sheltering foreign militants from Uzbekistan, Chechnya, Afghanistan and some Arab countries.
May 14, 2005: Haitham al-Yemeni (Al Qaeda explosives expert from Yemen) killed in a strike by US drones in Pakistan.
November 30, 2005: Al-Qaeda number 3 Abu Hamza Rabia (Egyptian-born) killed in a missile attack by US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) drones in Pakistan.
January 13, 2006: Damadola airstrike by US drones kills 18 in Bajaur.
April 26, 2007: 4 killed in village Saidgi in North Waziristan.
June 19, 2007: 20 killed in village of Mami Rogha in North Waziristan.
November 2, 2007: 5 militants killed in an attack on a madrasa in North Waziristan. A missile fired from a U.S. unmanned aerial drone killed five militants and wounded six other people in Pakistan’s lawless tribal areas, according to a Pakistani security official and a local resident. The missile killed the militants inside a compound near a large madrasa, or religious school, that was established by Jalaluddin Haqqani, a Taliban commander with close ties to Osama bin Laden, a security official said.
January 29, 2008: Abu Laith al-Libi (Senior Al-Qaeda spokesman) and associates killed in U.S. missile strike in Salam Kot, North Waziristan.
February 27, 2008: 12 people killed in a strike near Kalosha village in South Waziristan.
March 18, 2008: 16 killed in a strike in South Waziristan. The attack took place near Shahnawaz Kheil Dhoog in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border. "Initial reports suggest militants were hiding there," a military official said. Local tribesman Rahim Khan said at least two missiles from an unmanned drone hit and destroyed the home of a local militant leader and Taliban sympathizer who goes by the single name of Noorullah.
May 14, 2008: 12 killed including Abu Sulayman Al-Jazairi (originally from Algeria, weapons expert Al Qaeda) near village of Damadola.
July 28, 2008: Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar (alleged top bomb maker for al-Qaeda), and 5 other Al-Qaeda operatives killed in South Waziristan. The United States had a US$5 million bounty on the head of Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar.)
September 8, 2008: 23 killed in Daande Darpkhel airstrike.
September 12, 2008: 12 killed in Miranshah airstrike.
September 30, 2008: 6 killed in a drone strike near Mir Ali, Pakistan. The missiles struck the home of a local Taliban commander before midnight in Mir Ali, a town in North Waziristan - a known haven for the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters near to the Afghan border.
October 16, 2008: Senior Al-Qaeda leader Khalid Habib killed in a strike. Khalid Habib was a member of Al-Qaeda's central structure in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Khalid Habib was reportedly sitting in a Toyota station wagon which was struck by a U.S. missile. On October 28, militants confirmed to the Asia Times that Habib was killed in the U.S. drone attack.
October 22, 2008: 4 killed in a village near Miranshah by missiles fired from suspected U.S. drone.
October 26, 2008: 20 killed including Taliban commander Mohammad Omar in a U.S. strike in South Waziristan. Mohammad Omar was a close associate of the dead Taliban commander Nek Mohammed (killed in a U.S. drone strike on June 18, 2004).
October 31, 2008: 20 killed including Al-Qaeda operative Abu Akash after 4 missiles hit Waziristan. Abu Akash was also known by aliases Haji Akasha Khan, Abdur Rehman and Iraqi Malang. He was born in Iraq. The building that was hit by U.S. missiles was thought to be a militant hideout. Also other foreign militants were killed in the drone strike, according to officials.
November 14, 2008: 12 killed in a strike near Miranshah. A drone fired two missiles onto the house of a local tribesman in a border village near Miranshah, which has been the main target for US strikes in the recent months. A security official said 9 foreign militants - believed to be al-Qaeda fighters - were among those killed in the strike.
November 22, 2008: British Al-Qaeda operative Rashid Rauf and 4 others including Abu Zubair al-Masri (Top Al-Qaeda explosives expert originally from Egypt) killed in a US missile strike in North Waziristan.
December 22, 2008: At least 8 killed in South Waziristan by suspected US drone strikes. Pakistani intelligence sources said they believed the extremists killed were members of local Pakistani Taliban groups. Three U.S. missiles reportedly targeted vehicles mounted with anti-aircraft guns, according to Pakistani intelligence sources and local officials.
January 1, 2009: 2 senior Al-Qaeda leaders Fahid Mohammed Ally Msalam & Sheikh Ahmed Salim Swedan killed in Pakistan in a missile strike by US drones. (Both were Kenyans on the FBI's list of Most Wanted Terrorists in the United States for their part in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.)
January 23, 2009: In the first attacks since Barack Obama became president at least 14 killed in Waziristan in 2 separate attacks by 5 missiles fired from drones on suspected terrorist hideouts.
February 14, 2009: More than 30 killed (including Taliban and Al-Qaeda members according to a Pakistani intelligence official and residents of the area) when two missiles are launched by CIA drones into Pakistan near town of Makeen in South Waziristan. Dozens of followers of Pakistan's top Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud, were staying in the housing compound in the village when it was hit by U.S. missiles.
February 16, 2009: Strike in Kurram Valley kills 30. The missile attack targeted a house used by a Taliban commander in Kurram
March 1, 2009: Strike in Sararogha village in South Waziristan kills seven suspected Islamic militants. "It was a Taleban sanctuary, which was destroyed in the attack," an unnamed Pakistani security official told AFP news agency. "Some foreigners were possibly among those killed, including Uzbeks and Arabs".
March 12, 2009: At least 24 Local Taliban killed. U.S. Missile Attack Targets Suspected Militant Hideout in Pakistan. Four missiles believed to have been fired by at least two pilotless U.S. drone aircraft hit a militant hideout and training camp in the Kurram tribal region on the Afghan border.
March 15, 2009: U.S. Drone Missile Strike Kills 4 in Pakistan. A missile strike from a remotely piloted American aircraft hit the house of a local militant commander in the Frontier Region Bannu killing four people, including two Arabs, residents and intelligence officials said.
March 25, 2009: Seven killed in attacks on 2 vehicles by two missiles in Makin area of South Waziristan at 18:30 o'clock.
March 26, 2009: 4 killed in Essokhel area in North Waziristan. A suspected US missile strike killed at least four militants in a tribal region of Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan,
officials said on Thursday.
April 1, 2009: 14 killed in Orakzai Agency tribal area. The missile hit a house in Orakzai tribal area. Residents and local journalists said the house had been converted into a Taleban camp.
April 4, 2009: 13 killed in North Waziristan. A pilotless U.S. drone aircraft fired a missile in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, killing 13 people including some foreign militants, security officials and residents said.
April 8, 2009: 4 killed in attack on a vehicle in Gangi Khel in South Waziristan.
April 19, 2009: At least 3 killed and 5 injured in an attack in South Waziristan.A suspected US missile attack targeted a Taleban base in north-west Pakistan.
April 29, 2009: A missile strike by a suspected US drone on Wednesday killed at least 6 militants in northwest Pakistan's tribal area bordering Afghanistan, officials said.
May 9, 2009: strike in Sararogha in South Waziristan kills 6 militants.
May 12, 2009: strike in Sra Khawra village in South Waziristan kills 8 militants.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) generally does not comment on these attacks as per its policy. Barack Obama authorized the continuation of these strikes after he became President. Top US officials consider these strikes very successful and believe that the senior Al-Qaeda leadership has been decimated by these strikes. An account of high value targets eliminated by drones was provided to Pakistan in 2009. President Obama has broadened these attacks to include targets seeking to destabilize Pakistani civilian government and the attacks of February 14 & 16, 2009 were against training camps run by Baitullah Mehsud. On February 25, 2009 Leon Panetta director of CIA indicated these strikes will continue. On March 4, 2009 The Washington Times reported that the drones were targetting Baitullah Mehsud.