Obama’s 2012 Pakistan Drone Strikes
For the 2011 Pakistan drone strike database click here and for the 2010 data click here. A database incorporating all 2009 drone strikes in Pakistan after President Obama’s inauguration is here. For the database encompassing the President Bush strikes, from 2004 to 2009, click here.
c. January 4th 2012
♦ 0 total killed
The first hoped-for US strike of 2012 did not happen, according to the Washington Post, following a veto by Pakistan, with the two countries still locked in negotiations over new terms for CIA drone attacks:
In a rare display of deference early this month, the CIA informed the Pakistani government that it planned a drone strike against a terrorist target in the North Waziristan tribal region and asked Islamabad’s permission. When Pakistan declined, the strike was canceled, officials said.
Ob257 – January 10 2012
♦ 1-4 total killed
♦ 2 injured (woman and child)
The longest pause of the Obama drone war in Pakistan (55 days) came to an abrupt end when in a late evening attack two missiles destroyed a mudbrick house just outside Miranshah. Up to four alleged militants were reported killed, with Reuters initially citing Pakistani officials as saying the victims were ‘foreign fighters of Arab and possibly also Uzbek extraction.’ Qasim Noor, a student who witnessed the attack, told Associated Press: ‘ It was an unusually big bang. Since it was extremely cold I didn’t leave the house, but could see a house on fire. In the morning, we saw a modest mud house had been destroyed.’ Ten days after the strike Reuters reported that the attack killed Aslam Awan aka Abdullah Khorasani, who it described as a Pakistan-born senior external operations operative for al Qaeda. Pakistan’s The News reported that a Saudi national may also have died. According to a local tribesman:
A guest from the holy land (Saudi Arabia) living in a ramshackle house was killed on the spot but his wife and a son staying in the same room survived’.
The attack led to a number of protests in Pakistan. On February 22 Reuters reported that US Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all spoke with senior Pakistani officials just prior to the attack to let them know the campaign would be resuming. The News later claimed that according to its sources in the security establishment this strike – and one on February 9 2012 – ‘was carried out on a tip off provided by the Pakistani intelligence community.’
Location: Miranshah, North Waziristan
References: Associated Press, Express Tribune, Xinhua, Daily Telegraph, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, The Bureau, Reuters, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Voice of America, Dawn, The News, McClatchy, Reuters, Express Tribune, New York Times, Reuters, The News, The News
Ob258 – January 12 2012
♦ 5-9 total killed
♦ 2-3 injured
Up to nine militants, mostly Turkmeni, were killed in a US strike on two vehicles in Dogga, 18 miles west of Miranshah. Reuters reported a Pakistani intelligence source as saying: ”The missiles hit two cars that were heading towards the border. Several foreigners were in the cars, but we have no information on their nationalities yet.’ The News reported that those killed
Were sitting in their vehicles after performing their Maghrib prayers when they came under attack. They said the double cabin pick-up vehicle caught fire and four men were killed on the spot. Their badly mutilated bodies were pulled out of the destroyed vehicle later. Another person, villagers said, was killed in the car. His body was mutilated and beyond recognition. There was no way to ascertain the identity of the slain men.’
Reports for a while claimed that Pakistan Taliban (TTP) leader Hakimullah Mehsud may have been killed in the attack, based on radio intercepts. The TTP denied the claim.
Location: Dogga near Datta Khel, North Waziristan
References: Dawn, IRNA, BBC, Pakistan Today, Reuters, Voice of America, The Nation, CNN, AFP, Express Tribune, The News, Fox News, The Nation, Press Trust of India, McClatchy, The News, ABC News Radio, Dawn, Asia Times, The News
Ob259 – January 23 2012
♦ 4-5 total killed
♦ 1 injured
Up to four alleged Turkmeni militants – possibly allied to al Qaeda, according to Reuters – were reported killed in a morning strike on a vehicle in North Waziristan. The vehicle was en route from Degan to Datta Khel and according to the BBC ‘was engulfed by fire after the missile strike. A nearby house was also damaged.’ A related attack on a house may have taken place in the nearby village of Mohammad Khel.
Ob259c – January 23 2012
♦ 0-2 total killed
Two missiles may also have struck a house in Mohammad Khel. CNN reported local intelligence officials as saying that nobody was killed in the attack, although The News reported local tribesmen as saying that two people died. This attack may be confused with Ob259 – awaiting clarification.
Ob259ci – February 1 2012
♦ 13-20 total killed
There were clashing reports as to the source of an early morning attack on four Pakistan Taliban (TTP) compounds in Orukzai Agency. Dawn reported that the strike was carried out by the Pakistan Air Force – and that a TTP commander may have been killed. Earlier there had been some speculation as to whether US drones were involved.
Ob260 – February 8 2012
♦ 9-10 total killed
♦ 2-12 injured
Ten alleged militants were killed in an early morning attack on a house near Miranshah, North Waziristan. One anonymous Pakistani official reported: ‘The locals have pulled out nine bodies and around a dozen injured from the rubble of demolished house.’ ‘There was wide speculation about the victims. One source claimed that those killed were part of a group run by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a local militant commander. A second reported that the Haqqani Network may have been targeted. Other Pakistan intelligence sources suggested that some of the targets were ‘from central Asia’, or from the Punjab. It was the first confirmed CIA drone strike in more than two weeks.
Ob261 – February 9 2012
♦ 5-8 total killed
♦ 0-2 civilians reported killed, including 1 child
♦ 3 injured
Badar Mansoor, the commander of a Pakistan Taliban faction with strong links to al Qaeda, was among at least five people killed in a 4am attack by the CIA in Miranshah, North Waziristan, the second US strike in 24 hours. AFP named the other dead as Qari Fayaz, Maulvi Faisal Khurasani, Qari Mushtaq and Yasir Khurasani. There was confusion about whether civilians had also died or were only injured in the strike. Reuters cited a Pakistan Taliban commander as saying that Mansoor’s family died alongside him.
He was living in a small rented house with his wife and children in Miranshah. He, his wife and two other members of his family died on the spot.
Other sources stated either that one wife was killed, one wife and one child, or that one or both wives were injured in the attack, ‘possibly the wife and daughter of Mansoor.’ Badar Mansoor (aka Fakher Zaman) took over the local leadership of Al Qaeda after the death in a drone strike of Ilyas Kashmiri in summer 2011. AFP reported Pakistani intelligence officials as saying ‘Mansoor was responsible for attacks in Karachi and on the minority Ahmadi community that killed nearly 100 people in the eastern city of Lahore in May 2010.’ Officials told Reuters that ‘the death toll could rise because of damage to buildings next to the one targeted by the drone.’
Three policemen were murdered in Peshawar on February 24 by militants calling themselves the Sheikh Abdullah Azaam Brigade. Six other officers were wounded in the triple suicide bombing of a police station, which the Brigade said ‘was to avenge the killing of Badr Munir in a drone attack. The group warned that there would be more such attacks,’ according to The Nation.
On March 8 Al Qaeda’s media wing released a nine minute eulogy for Mansoor, claiming that :
America is now more eagerly attacking the Pakistani government’s targets. The drone program is being run with the full consent, permission and cooperation of the Pakistani government.
The News later claimed that according to its sources in the security establishment this strike – and one on January 10 2012 – ‘was carried out on a tip off provided by the Pakistani intelligence community.’
Location: Miranshah, North Waziristan:
References: AFP, ABC News, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, Reuters, Fox News, Associated Press, CNN, BBC, New York Times, MSNBC, McClatchy, AFP, The Nation, The News (Pakistan), Central Asia Online, Dawn (AP), The News
Ob262 – February 16 2012
♦ 6 total killed
♦ 4-7 injured
An early morning strike on a house in Spalga, near Miranshah, killed six alleged militants. Four were seriously injured. At least three Pakistani security officials in the area confirmed the attack, which a number of reports claimed was against the Haqqani Network. The strike came five days after Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani told Al Jazeera:
I want to inform you that we did not allow or give permission to fly drones from Pakistan. Drones are counter productive and we have discussed it thoroughly with the US administration.
Location: Spalga near Miranshah, North Waziristan
References:Express Tribune, AFP, Press Trust of India, Radio Free Europe, The Nation (Pakistan), Associated Press, Al Jazeera, CNN, PTI, Washington Post, AAP, Voice of America, BBC, Time, Dawn, Express Tribune, Daily Times, The News, Frontier Post
Ob263 – February 16 2012
♦ 10-15 total killed
♦ Unknown injured
In the second drone strike of the day up to 15 alleged militants died in an attack on a pick-up truck in Mir Ali. A number of reports referred to the dead as ‘Uzbek Islamists.’ According to a Pakistani security official ‘the vehicle caught fire and the dead bodies are badly mutilated.’ Four drones were reported to take taken part, according to villagers. One told The News: ‘No one could risk his life to get close to the destroyed vehicle and retrieve bodies of the slain people due to fear of the drones which were still flying over the area even after the attack.’
Ob263a – February 25 2012
♦ 0 killed
The News reported that Pakistani troops searching for the wreckage of a crashed US drone narrowly missed injury when a missile was fired from a circling drone. A senior local official told the paper:
We were looking for the wreckage of the drone in Machikhel village, Mir Ali, and were almost close to the debris of the destroyed aircraft when one of the drones flying over the area fired a missile and hit two missiles lying on the ground. It would have caused heavy losses to security forces and others engaged in the search operation. They were lucky to survive.
The US drone had crashed earlier that day, with the Taliban claiming it had shot the UAV down. Militants allied to Hafiz Gul Bahadur told Reuters: ‘The drone today in Machikhel was flying at low altitude and our fighters fired at and shot it down. We have trained people for such type of job. We got hold of half of the wreckage and were looking for the remaining parts when the Pakistan army troops arrived there and then we decided to leave. The troops fired heavy search lights and are looking for wreckage of the drone.’ A US official denied that the drone had been shot down.
Ob264 – March 9 2012
♦ 8-15 total killed
♦ 3 injured
A rare CIA drone strike just inside South Waziristan killed up to 15 alleged militants. The attack, the first in more than three weeks, struck a vehicle (see also below) in the Mandao borderlands area. A senior Pakistani security official told AFP:
A drone fired two missiles on a vehicle. At least eight militants were killed. It is not immediately clear if some important target was hit in the missile strike.’
The News reported that those killed were allied to the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) and as well as ‘local Mehsud’ may have included ‘some foreign militants.’ Der Spiegel later reported that the morning strike killed Samir H, 29, a German citizen. At least one of three missiles hit the vehicle, a pick-up truck, killing Samir and 11 others, the magazine continued. The attack that killed Samir occurred on the same day that Islamabad announced the imminent replacement of controversial spy chief General Ahmad Shuja Pasha. Pasha, who had run the ISI for four years, was to be replaced by Lt. General Zaheerul Islam the following week.
Born in west German city of Aachen to a German convert mother and a Tunisian father, Samir left Germany for Pakistan in October 2009. He traveled first to Iran then Pakistan, accompanied by his wife, a German of Tunisian descent, his son Hamsa and his daughter Shaima. Der Spiegel reported German investigators believed Samir to be one of the most dangerous Islamists in the country. The magazine cited a 2010 video posted by the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan in which he refers to himself as Abu Laith. His sister Soumaia left for Waziristan in 2010 where she is believed to remain. Der Spiegel reported this strike had the potential to reignite the debate in Germany on the legality of the drones by the US and could increase diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
Ob264a – March 9 2012
♦ 0-6 killed
Two sources reported a second strike. The first reportedly hit a vehicle, killing up to 15 militants. The second strike was said to have hit a house 12 kilometres away, killing ‘six Uzbeks.’
Ob265 – March 13 2012
♦ 6-8 reported killed
♦ 2-4 injured
Two senior commanders of a Taliban faction were among up to eight people killed in a CIA strike on South Waziristan. The men – part of a group commanded by Maulvi Nazir – died in an attack on their vehicle. An eyewitness identified one of the commanders as Amir Hamza Toji Khel - described as ‘a prominent member of the newly established council of the militants namely Shura Muraqiba’. The shura was reportdely formed in late December 2011 ‘to sort out differences among militant groups and stop killing of local tribesmen by terming them “spies”.’ The other commander was named as Shamsullah, reported to be an assistant to Maulvi Nazir himself. Two other deceased militants were named as Wajahat and Abdullah. Although Nazir’s group fights in the insurgency in Afghanistan, it has maintained a six year ceasefire with Pakistan’s forces inside Waziristan, making it highly unlikely that Islamabad would have endorsed the strike.
Ob266 – March 13 2012
♦ 7 reported killed
♦ 3 injured
A strike was reported on another vehicle ‘some hours later’ in the borderlands of North and South Waziristan, killing seven militants. According to the Frontier Post ‘locals of the area said that a double cabin pick up was hit by missiles from drone planes which killed seven people burning down the pick-up to ashes. It was not known who were the killed ones.’ The News reported that the men were also part of Maulvi Nazir’s Taliban group.
Ob267 – March 30 2012
♦ 4 reported killed
♦ 3 injured
A house in the market area of Miranshah town was destroyed in a 3am attack, killing four alleged militants. According to AFP, the CIA strike also triggered a fire in the moneychangers’ market. The blast reportedly destroyed five shops including a bakery, three grocery shops and a telephone kiosk. Eyewitness Yousuf Khan described the attack and aftermath: ‘I was sleeping in my home when a deafening sound woke me up. Fearing that my house has been attacked, I peeped out of my window and saw flames raging from the building facing my house. Two men holding Kalashnikov rifles warned me to go inside. I shut the window and went to sleep.” There were competing claims as to the identity of the victims. AP cited intelligence officials saying that those killed and injured were Uzbeks; Reuters reported that they were local Taliban; and agency AGI claimed they were ‘Arabs.’ MSNBC later aired footage of the aftermath of the attack, showing that it took place in a built-up market area of the town.
MSNBC airs footage of the strike
The drone strike came at a highly sensitive time, with a recent Parliamentary Committee on National Security report to Islamabad’s parliament calling for an end to all US drone strikes in Pakistan, and during high-level negotiations between the US and Pakistan on possible new rules, said to include limiting the type of strikes, and informing Pakistan in advance. A senior unnamed US official voiced rare internal criticisms of the US programme telling CNN that the White House was making a serious mistake by putting the options on the table for the Pakistanis to seize.
The big mistake was the administration – I did try to warn them – that once you put it on the table, it will only get worse. Sure enough, once they put it on the table, (Pakistan) grabbed it, and they’ve run with it and now it’s the centerpiece of their negotiations.”
The senior official also voiced criticisms of CIA Director David Petraeus: ‘The director and I have had serious go-rounds about this particular issue before he did it, and he did it anyway. And now I think we’re paying the price.”
Ob268 – April 29 2012
♦ 3-6 reported killed
♦ 2-3 injured
Despite ongoing negotiations between the US and Pakistan – and a unanimous vote by Pakistan’s parliament to end the drone strikes – the CIA ended a 29-day pause by bombing an ex-girls’ school in Miranshah and killing up to six alleged militants – among them the leader of an Uzbek militant group. The school was reportedly engulfed in flames. Locals described four drones flying over the town prior to the attack. Pakistan strongly condemned the strike, describing it as ‘in total contravention of international law and established norms of interstate relations.’ At the same time US counter-terrorism chief John Brennan went on American TV to claim that ‘Sometimes you have to take life to save lives.’
Local resident Haji Niamat Khan told Reuters that more than two dozen militants were living in the school when it was attacked. The location was in the town’s market area – scene of the previous strike in March. Reuters also quoted a Pakistani security official:
We intercepted internal conversation of the militants asking for arranging four coffins for the slain men in the drone attack. We don’t know about their identity and nationality but those living in the girls’ school were mostly Arabs.
However Associated Press reported another official as saying the victims may have been ‘Uzbek or Tajik militants.’ Dawn reported that the target was ‘Punjab Taliban. And an anonymous US official later said that the school was a “staging and planning area for Al Qaeda, the Haqqanis and other terrorists.’ In August 2012 the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan reported on its Furqon website that its leader, Uthman/ Usman Atil, had died in the attack. Atil had replaced previous IMU leader Tahir Yuldashev, also killed by a drone.
Location: Miranshah, North Waziristan
References: Reuters, Associated Press, Al Jazeera, AFP, Punjab News, MSNBC, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Los Angeles Times,New York Times, Express Tribune, Wall Street Journal, AP, NPR, Dawn, New York Times, Furqon (Uzbek), Long War Journal, The News, The News
Ob269 – May 5 2012
♦ 8-10 reported killed
♦ 1-3 injured
♦ 0-10 civilians reported killed
The CIA carried out its third drone strike during ongoing sensitive negotiations with Pakistan. Missiles hit an alleged militant training camp in the forested Shawal area, killing up to ten people. The Pakistan Observer reported local claims that the dead were ‘local tribesmen’ rather than militants. CNN reported the dead as members of the Pakistan Taliban according to Muhammad Amin, a senior government offiicial in the region. The Frontier Post reported that locals were afraid to assist in rescue work as up to four drones remained in the area after the attack. Pakistan’s government once again condemned the strike in strong terms, calling the attack ‘illegal’ and stating that
It is our considered view that the strategic disadvantages of such attacks far outweigh their tactical advantages, and are therefore, totally counter productive.
The attack came just days after chief US counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan said that the US would seek to respect other nations’ sovereignty in its drone strikes. Leon Panetta, US Defense Secretary, also confirmed that ‘the United States is going to defend itself under any circumstances.’
Location: Shawal, North Waziristan
References: AFP, MSNBC, Reuters, Associated Press, BBC, PTI, Frontier Post, The News, The Nation (Pakistan), SANA, McClatchy, Dawn, Express Tribune, CNN, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
President Obama welcomes fellow NATO-leaders to Chicago
Ob270 – May 23 2012
♦ 4-5 reported killed
♦ 2 injured
In the first recorded US drone strike in Pakistan in 18 days, up to five alleged militants were killed in a 2.40am strike on a house in Datta Khel, with ‘several’ injured. As many as five drones were reported over Miranshah at the time of the attack, suggesting a possible High Value Target may have been present. AFP reported residents as saying that the bodies of those killed had been charred badly, and that militants had cordoned off the area and were sifting through the rubble.
The strike came despite continuing Pakistani protests at the attacks, and an ongoing dispute with the United States about the resumption of the delivery of NATO supplies to Afghanistan through the country. At the NATO summit in Chicago, two days before the strike, President Obama told reporters: ‘I don’t want to paper over real challenges there. There’s no doubt that there have been tensions between [the NATO military coalition] and Pakistan, the United States and Pakistan over the last several months.’
Location: Datta Khel Kalai near Miranshah, North Waziristan
References: Xinhua, Los Angeles Times, Associated Press, AFP, BBC, CNN, GeoTV, Christian Science Monitor, Deccan Herald, Express Tribune, The News
Ob271 – May 24 2012
♦ 10-12 reported killed
♦ 3 injured
♦ 3-10 civilians reported killed
The CIA’s drones returned to the attack for the second time in 24 hours, killing up to a dozen people, only some of whom appear to have been alleged militants. A house and a nearby mosque were hit as villagers attended morning prayers, and between three and eight civilians died. It is not clear which building was the primary target. Associated Press’s sources said that ‘most of those killed were Uzbek insurgents.’ But at least three civilians died when the mosque was also struck during morning prayers, according to AFP. A security official told the news agency that three worshippers, believed to be Central Asians, ‘were seriously wounded and died later in the hospital.’ Channel 4 News said that most of the dead were local villagers, with four of 12 killed being ‘foreign fighters, believed to be Turkmen.’ KUNA reported tribal elders as saying that all of those killed were ‘innocent local tribesmen.’ Villager Mohammad Roshan Dawar later told The News:
Some of the people had offered the prayers and were leaving the mosque. Others were still praying and some were reciting the Holy Quran, when the drone fired two missiles and struck the mosque. The small structure of the mosque was demolished in the attack and those present inside were buried under the debris of the building.
The wounded were reportedly taken to Miranshah Agency Headquarters Hospital, where an anonymous doctor complained that the injured ‘were brought to us in a serious condition and had suffered multiple injuries. Also, we do not have any facility here in the hospital to save lives of seriously injured patients. Let alone other facilities, the only X-ray machine at the hospital is also out of order.’
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman told reporters that ‘We strongly condemn the drone attacks. We regard them a violation of our territorial integrity. They are in contravention of international law. They are illegal, counter-productive and totally unacceptable.’ He added that ‘matters related to NATO supply [and] drone attacks are under discussion with the US, and that ‘Pakistan wants to solve the matter of drones with the US through negotiation rather to move UN Security Council or the International Court of Justice.’ The strike occurred on the same day that Amnesty International issued its annual report, in which it again raised concerns that US covert drone strikes ‘appear to have amounted to extrajudicial executions.’
Location: Khassokhel near Mir Ali, North Waziristan
References: Dawn, Reuters, KUNA, Pakistan Today, Associated Press, AFP, BBC, CBS, The Nation (Pakistan), MSNBC, Channel 4 News, Amnesty International, SANA, SANA, The News (Pakistan), Dawn, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ob272 – May 26 2012
♦ 3-4 reported killed
♦ 2 injured
Drone strikes returned to levels not seen in Pakistan since autumn 2011, as the CIA attacked for the third time in a week. Four alleged militants died in a 4.30am attack when a bakery was struck in Miranshah bazaar, North Waziristan. According to Associated Press the victims – all ‘foreigners’ or ‘Arabs’ – were buying bread when the shop was bombed, marking a rare deliberate targeting of civilian infrastructure. Other agencies reported that a house was struck., or that the target was an apartment above the bakery. All reported that the building was destroyed.
Ob273 – May 28 2012
♦ 5-10 reported killed
♦ 4 injured
CIA drones returned to the attack in North Waziristan for the fourth time in six days, with a double strike on the village of Khassokhel, 25km east of Miranshah. Up to ten people were killed in the bombing of a house under construction, reportedly owned by Balbal Khan. The first strike came at around 12.20m local time, with some local media reporting that five drones were hovering over the target area. Officials claimed that most of those killed were foreigners, but could not confirm their nationality. A Pakistani security official said the area ‘was known for harbouring Uzbek, Arab and other foreign militants.’ Drones returned to attack the house again some 30 minutes later. It was not known initially if this marked a return to the deliberate targeting of rescuers at the scene, a tactic first uncovered by the Bureau.
CBS News later reported that Al Qaeda commander Yahya al-Libi was the target of the attack, but that he had escaped with injuries. Al-Libi was killed June 4.
Location: Khassokhel near Mir Ali, North Waziristan
References: Xinhua, BBC, AFP, Express Tribune, Sky News (Australia), The Nation (Pakistan), Associated Press, Khaama Press, Voice of Russia Radio, RTT News, ANI, IANS, Dawn, Express Tribune, Washington Post, Pakistan Observer, CBS News, The News, The News
Ob274 – May 28 2012
♦ 2-5 reported killed
A second missile attack destroyed a vehicle in Datta Khel, 30km west of Miranshah. Up to five alleged militants died. A security official told AFP that ‘The drone fired two missiles on a vehicle. The vehicle caught fire and the bodies of the people inside were badly burnt.’ Another official reported that the deceased were ‘two foreigners and their local driver.’ The News reported a villager as saying that ‘a nearby house was also damaged in the attack, but its inmates remained safe.’
Ob275 – June 2 2012
♦ 2-4 reported killed
♦ 0-2 civilian killed
In the first reported CIA action in South Waziristan since March 13, up to four people were reported killed in a strike targeting a vehicle in Khawashi Khel, 5km to the east of Wana. Security officials told AFP that alleged militants had been moving from one area to another near the Afghan border, and that ‘the US drone fired two missiles which completely destroyed the vehicle.’ Two local militant leaders were reported killed, both members of Maulvi Nazir’s Taliban-aligned faction. The men were identified as Khalil Yargul Khail and Rehmanullah Gangi Khail by the Express Tribune: ‘According to security officials, Rehmanullah Gangi Khail was the brother of Muhammad Wali, a local commander of the Mullah Nazir Group.’ Although most agencies reported that either an unspecified ‘vehicle’ or motorbike was the target of the strike, Dawn reported that a motorbike was accidentally hit, suggesting possible civilian casualties.
Location: Khawashi Khel, Wana, South Waziristan
References: The Nation (Pakistan), CNN, Radio Free Europe, AFP, GeoTV, Dawn, The News (Pakistan), Associated Press, IRNA, Express Tribune, The News (Pakistan),
Ob275c – June 2 2012
♦ 3-4 reported killed
One agency reported a second drone attack of the day, on a house in the Ghowa Khowa area close to Wana. Four people were reported killed.
Ob276 – June 3 2012
♦ 7-10 reported killed
♦ 7-10 injured
♦ Possible civilian casualties
An attack on funeral prayers held with the family of a Taliban commander killed the day before killed up to ten people. US drones struck a house in Mana Raghzai as people gathered for funeral prayers for Rehmanullah Gangi Khail and the brother of local commander Malang. Local officials told the Express Tribune
The militants had gathered for condolence of commander Malang’s brother Rehmanullah, who was killed in a US drone strike earlier on Saturday. Commanders Malang and Gulam Khan were seriously injured in the attack.
Although there were reports that both commanders had died, the New York Times later quoted a Wana government official as saying that both men lived and were ‘stable’. Two others killed were described as ‘foreigners’. Local people took part in the rescue operation. A nearby vehicle was also destroyed in a related strike, killing five and injuring others.
Location: Mana Raghzai near Wana, South Waziristan
References: Kuna, Daily Mail, Express Tribune, CNN, Reuters, The News (Pakistan), The Nation (Pakistan), The Guardian, AFP, Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Dawn, Sky News, New York Times, The News (Pakistan)
Ob277 – June 4 2012
♦ 1-18 reported killed
♦ 4 injured
Al Qaeda’s effective number two, Abu Yahya al-Libi, was killed as the CIA continued with a tempo of strikes not seen in Pakistan for over a year. The Islamabad government once again condemned the attacks as ‘illegal’ and urged the US to stop. Drones struck at 5am in North Waziristan, killing up to 18 people as a militant compound and a vehicle were hit. US and Taliban figures confirmed the following day that al-Libi had died in the attack. Some reports claimed that al Qaeda was now so degraded in Pakistan that there was no natural successor to succeed al-Libi. White House spokesman Jay Carney said of his death:
His death is part of the degradation that has been taking place to core al-Qaida during the past several years and that degradation has depleted the ranks to such an extent that there’s no clear successor.
One anonymous US official claimed that only five people died in the strike, another that only al-Libi died. However most sources reported between 14 and 18 deaths, including al-Libi’s driver and bodyguard. According to the BBC, the CIA attacked militants attending the scene of an initial strike. Up to six drones participated in the attack.
The intensity of the US campaign led to claims by some that the US was carrying out punitive strikes. Islamabad called in the US charge d’affaires Richard Hoagland to formally complain about the strikes. He was told that ‘drone strikes represented a clear red-line for Pakistan.’ The Islamabad-based Conflict Monitoring Center, in its monthly report, accused the US of going on a ‘rampage’ in ‘a bid to punish Pakistan for the conviction of Dr. Afridi as well as its reluctance to reopen NATO supply routes.’ The CMC noted that prior to the NATO summit and Afridi’s conviction, only one US strike had taken place in May. Afterwards there were five, mainly aimed at ‘Taliban groups who are in a peace agreement with Pakistani authorities.’ An anonymous senior US official rejected this, claiming that the jump in CIA strikes was simply down to the weather. He told the New York Times that ‘Until now the area was socked in by a long stationary front with cloud cover.’ Less than a week after the strike messages were posted on al Qaeda websites suggesting that al-Libi remained alive. The terrorist group also posted a video of al-Libi discussing recent events in Libya, though with no references to his reported killing.
In September 2012, Associated Press reported two US intelligence officials as saying that a Saudi man named Najam had lost both legs in a drone strike ‘at about the same time as al-Libi died.’ According to the anonymous officials:
Najam, who came from an affluent family, was able to reach an agreement with the Saudi government to return to his wife and children. Intelligence suggests that Najam’s treatment has encouraged other militants to seek similar deals, switch to other battlefields or seek leniency from their governments.
Location: Hesokhel near Mir Ali, North Waziristan
References: The News (Pakistan), The Nation (Pakistan), Reuters, AGI, PTI, New York Times, Conflict Monitoring Center, Associated Press, MSNBC, IRNA, CNN, The Guardian, Reuters, BBC, ABC News, Reuters, Washington Post, Reuters, The Guardian, CNN, CBS, Al Arabiya, New York Times, Washington Post, AFP, AFP, Los Angeles Times, The News, Associated Press
Ob278 – June 13 2012
♦ 4 killed
Four alleged militants were killed in the first strike for nine days. Initial estimates put the casualty figure at three but AFP reported this was subsequently updated by an anonymous Pakistani official. The men were traveling in a vehicle in the evening when multiple missiles were fired from a US drone. The strike came 10km east of Mirahshah in the village of Isha. Witnesses said the vehicle immediately caught fire when finally hit, adding that several drones had been seen circling the area that day.
The strike came amid continued strained relations between Islamabad and Washington. Two days previously the US announced it was withdrawing its negotiators who had spent six weeks trying to reach a deal with Pakistan to reopen supply routes through the country. Closing the border to NATO supplies bound for Afghanistan had forced the US to reroute the convoys through central Asia. This was costing the US $100 million a month, reported the Washington Post. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar also urged a visiting delegation of US Congressmen to end the drone strikes.
Location: Isha near Miranshah, North Waziristan
References: AFP, Trend.AZ (DPA), ABC, NewsPakistan, INP, The Express Tribune, Xinhua, The News, The Hindu, Xinhua, Outlook India, The News Tribe, Radio Free Europe, Reuters, Washington Post, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ob279 – June 14 2012
♦ 3-4 killed
Three to four alleged militants were killed in an early morning CIA drone strike in Miranshah bazaar. Two missiles were fired on a shop or house, hitting the first floor according to a senior official . For the third time in recent weeks there were indications that the CIA had used a ‘follow-up strike’ tactic first exposed by the Bureau in February 2012. A tribesman who requested anonymity told AFP:
When the first missile hit the building, I heard cries for help and ran towards it, but militants stopped me at a distance. When they started rescue work, another missile hit.
A local journalist said the strike came at 3.30am, with witnesses reporting that two drones took part. One fired the missiles, with the second hovering over the area. As many as five drones reportedly remained over the area following the strike, indicating the possible presence of a High Value Target.
Ob280 – June 26 2012
♦ 4-6 killed
♦ 2-7 injured
CIA attacks resumed after a 12 day pause, when missiles struck a house in Shawal in North Waziristan late in the evening, killing up to six people. Local officials told AFP that the target was militants linked to Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a leader involved in the Afghan insurgency but with a peace agreement with Pakistan.The attack came the day before Pakistan’s top military commander, General Kayani, was due to hold talks with General John Allen, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, to discuss ways to improve relations. As Pakistan’s The News noted: ‘This was the first attack by the CIA-operated pilotless planes in North Waziristan after the local Taliban, led by Hafiz Gul Bahadur, banned the anti-polio immunisation campaign in the tribal region as a mark of protest against the US drone strikes.’
Ob281 – July 1 2012
♦ 6-8 killed
♦ 2-3 injured
US drones struck a house in the Shawal area at around 7am, killing up to eight people. A local security official told agency AFP: ‘Two missiles targeted the compound, killing six militants.’ A second official reported that ‘the strike destroyed the house and triggered a fire. It was difficult to identify the bodies immediately as some of them were charred.’ It was reported that some of those killed were linked to Hafiz Gul Bahadur, the target of other recent CIA strikes, with others from the Turkmenistan Islamic Movement.
Ob282 – July 6 2012
♦ 17-24 killed
♦ 0-3 civilians reported killed
♦ 2-6 injured
As many as 24 people were killed in a triple evening strike on a house in Datta Khel. The dead were said to include ‘foreigners,’ with AFP reporting: ‘The initial strike on a house killed nine, three others were killed in a second attack when they drove to the site to recover dead bodies, and a third drone killed another three five minutes later, a senior security official in Peshawar told the AFP news agency.’ Dawn also reported that three rescuers were killed, whom it described as ‘tribesmen.’ Some reported that those killed were linked to local militant leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur. The New York Times reported a local resident as saying that ‘the compound was owned by a Taliban commander named Rahimullah.’ However in August 2012 Time magazine quoted a US official as saying the strike was actually on ‘a truck packed with explosives heading across the border.’
It was a clear shot. We had to take it.
The official also said that the number killed was less than 20. This was the first CIA strike after Pakistan re-opened its border to Nato supply convoys, ending a seven month diplomatic stand-off. The standoff ended after US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton apologised on July 3 for US forces killing 23 Pakistani soldiers in November 2011. Negotiations over the future of the drone programme continued after Clinton’s apology. Pakistan’s leaders reportedly were pushing for more control of drone strike targeting.
But on July 5 the Foreign Office repeated Pakistan’s view that drone strikes are counter-productive and a violation of the country’s sovereignty. Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Islamabad’s former High Commissioner to London, told Al Jazeera:
It can’t go against the will of the people and Pakistan is quite unanimous in rejecting the drone strikes on its territory. All the political parties, parliament and military have categorically condemned the strikes. We know that in the past there were all kinds of backdoor dealings - we are told we don’t know for sure - between Pakistan and the US which sort of winked and nudged and looked the other way while drone strikes would be conducted. Now those days have gone because the relationship between the two country is so brittle and tense. And anything smacking of backdoor dealings would really risk a reaction in the public against the government in Pakistan.’
Location: Datta Khel, North Waziristan
References: Express Tribune, The News Tribe, Saach, Associated Press, US State Department, Express Tribune, PTI, Associated Press, AFP. Xinhua, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, MSNBC, Voice of America, PTI, Al Jazeera, AFP, The Nation (Pakistan), Guardian, Reuters, New York Times, CNN, ABC News, The News, Deutsche Welle, Dawn, Dawn, Time, The News
Ob283 – July 23 2012
♦ 11-14 killed
♦ 0-14 civilians reported killed
♦ 2 injured
Up to 14 people were killed in the first known US drone strike in 17 days. An unknown number of CIA drones struck at 9.20pm, firing up to eight missiles into a housing compound alleged to belong to Sadiq Noor, a militant commander and ally of Hafiz Gul Bahadur. It was not clear if Noor was among the dead although Abdur Rauf, son of Abdul Karim, described as a militant, was later buried in Dhoda village. After the attack ‘more than five US drones kept flying over the area, hampering the rescue work.’ This was the second strike of the month to hit the village of Dre Nishter. The News was the only source to report that civilians may have been among those killed – and that rescuers may have died in a follow-up strike:
Some reports said the drones first fired two missiles and hit a house in the valley and when other people gathered for rescue efforts almost half-an-hour later, the drones started firing missiles on them, killing most the rescuers. There was, however, no independent confirmation of this piece of information. About the victims, there were conflicting reports with some saying they included militants while tribal sources insisted all of them were local residents.
Location: Dre Nishter/Shawal, North Waziristan
References: Xinhua, AFP, Associated Press, Xinhua, Geo.TV, PTI, The News Tribe, Voice of America, Dawn, The Star, CNN, Reuters, IANS, Long War Journal, The Express Tribune, BBC, The News, CNN, BNO News, The Nation (Pakistan), Dawn, PakTribune, Big News Network, RIA Novosti, The News
Ob284 – July 29 2012
♦ 4-7 killed
♦ 0-3 civilians reported killed
♦ 4 injured
The CIA’s drones returned to the attack in a Sunday strike on the village of Khushhali Turikhel in North Waziristan. Between four and seven people died, with six missiles fired at a house, according to AFP. One or two vehicles were also reported destroyed. However another source reported that ‘Uzbek militants’ were killed ‘visiting a spring for leisure.’ A large number of drones were said to have taken part, with SANA reporting that ‘six drones continued their flights in the area which created panic in the local residents.’ It was later reported that all of those killed were not Uzbeks but local people from Janikhel in Bannu, where they were buried. The News named three of the four it said were killed as Ahmadullah, Asadullah and Hidayat Khan. Its reporters toldf the Bureau that they were unsure of the status of the deceased.
The attack took place hours after Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman, again called for the US to halt drone strikes, saying that ‘We will seek an end to drone strikes and there will be no compromise on that… I am not saying drones have not assisted in the war against terror, but they have diminishing rate of returns.’
Location: Khushhali Turikhel, North Waziristan
References: AFP, Associated Press, Express Tribune, AFP, AAP, Associated Press, NBC News, SANA, PTI, The Nation, Dawn, The News, IANS, Xinhua, The News, The Nation
Ob285 – August 18 2012
♦ 5-12 killed
♦ 1 civilian reported killed
♦ 2-6 injured
A twenty day pause in the CIA’s campaign ended with a drone strike just after noon on Shuweda in North Waziristan. A house and car were reported damaged or destroyed and up to a dozen people, possibly ‘alleged militants’ – were killed. As AFP noted:
The attack came as people in the deeply religious region were celebrating the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr, residents said. It was the third drone attack since the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
AP reported that those killed were allies of local Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a regular target of CIA drone strikes in connection with the insurgency in Afghanistan. ‘Uzbeks’ were said to be among the dead. Eid was declared early in Waziristan, and people appear to have been gathering for the festival. The News reported that ‘the CIA-operated drone fired four missiles. Two of them hit a house located in the forest-covered mountainous Shawal Valley while two others hit vehicles parked outside a residence where a group of men had gathered for lunch in connection with Eid.’ Among those killed were 43-year old Kashmiri militant ‘Engineer’ Ahsan Aziz and his wife (the daughter of Jamaat e Islami Azad Kashmr leader Aleefud Din Turabi), according to Aziz’s father.
The attack was almost immediately condemned by Islamabad. A statement from the Foreign Ministry said: Pakistan strongly protests the drone attacks in North Waziristan this morning. Pakistan has consistently maintained that these attacks are a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and are in contravention of international law.’
Location: Mammon Narai, Shuweda, North Waziristan
References: AFP, Associated Press, Frontier Post, CNN, AGI, Voice of America, Express Tribune, Long War Journal, News Tribe, Xinhua, Pajhwok, Al Akhbar, Dawn, The Hindu, The Examiner, The News, Pakistan Foreign Ministry, Al Jazeera, SANA, Reuters, PTI, International News Network, PTI, Long War Journal, The News, Daily Times
Ob286 – August 19 2012
♦ 4-7 killed
♦ 2-3 injured
Drones returned to the attack for the second time in 12 hours in the Shawal valley area, with a reported early morning strike on two vehicles near the Afghan border. The Express Tribune said that the vehicles were en route from Miranshah. AFP reported a Pakistani security official as saying: ‘US drones fired four missiles on two militant vehicles in the early hours of Sunday, killing four militants.’ However a second official told the agency that the identities of those killed was unknown. Other speculated that those killed were supporters of militant leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
Location: Mana, Shawal valley, North Waziristan
References: AFP, The News, AFP, Associated Press, AAP, Long War Journal, Dawn, The News, The Nation, Reuters, Associated Press, PakTribune, Pajhwok, Voice of America, Geo TV, Express Tribune, PTI
Ob287 – August 19 2012
♦ 2-3 killed
♦ 2 injured
It was reported that a further two or three people were killed when CIA drones returned to the attack at Mana. News agency AFP reported a Pakistani security official as saying:
At least two militants were killed and two others wounded when a US drone fired two missiles at the site of this morning’s attack where militants were removing the wreckage of their two destroyed vehicles.
However The News and AP reported that the strike was on a house.
Ob288 – August 21 2012
♦ 5-25 killed
♦ Civilians reported killed, including 1 child
♦ 2 injured
In the fourth US drone attack in as many days, the CIA bombed a house and a vehicle in Shana Kora village, 10 kilometers from Miranshah. Between 5 and 25 people were killed in the 7pm attack. It was soon reported that Badruddin Haqqani, son of the Haqqani leader and the network’s military commander, may have been killed. A ‘senior Taliban commander’ said Haqqani had died in the strike and Afghanistan’s intelligence agency also reported him dead. Two Pakistani intelligence officials said they were 90 percent sure he had been killed. But they conceded they had not spoken with anyone who had seen the body and Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid denied Haqqani’s death, saying he was alive in Afghanistan. US officials told the Washington Post August 29 that ‘We now believe he is dead.’ Additional reports said that other members of Haqqani’s family had died in the attack. Haqqani’s 13-year old son Osama was reported by a number of sources to have been killed. A further report claimed that
There are three fresh graves in the family graveyard of Haqqanis. However, the family is reluctant to arrange any death ceremonies amid persistent US drone flights in the area.’
Reuters among others reported that far more civilians had died in the strike, reporting one of its sources as saying ‘The drone fired two missiles on the house last Tuesday and killed 25 people, most of them members of the Haqqani family.’
Two days after the strike, Pakistan’s government again protested the strikes. An official release stated:
The US Embassy was today démarched on recent drone strikes in North Waziristan. A senior US diplomat was called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and informed that the drone strikes were unlawful, against international law and a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. It was emphatically stated that such attacks were unacceptable.
Concern was later expressed that the death of such a senior member of the Haqqani family might impact upon negotiations for the release of a US Prisoner of War. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, captured on June 30 2009, is thought to be held captive by the Haqqani network.
Location: Shnakhura, Datta Khel, North Waziristan
References: Express Tribune, AFP, The News, Associated Press, Xinhua, The Nation (Pakistan), PTI, International Herald Tribune, Voice of Russia, Express Tribune, Dawn, Pakistan Foreign Ministry, Dawn, Xinhua, Reuters, PTI, New York Times, Dawn, Reuters, Associated Press, The Guardian, Pak Tribune, Express Tribune, Al Jazeera English, The Nation (Pakistan), Dawn, Reuters, Reuters, Washington Post, WTOP FM
Ob289 – August 24 2012
♦ Overall killed in three strikes 13-18 killed
♦ 14 injured
♦ Reported killed Makai only: 6
The CIA brought to seven the number of attacks carried out in a week when it bombarded three villages in the Shawal valley with coordinated drone strikes that left up to 18 dead and a further 14 wounded. Five drones reportedly took part in the coordinated attacks, launching six missiles and ‘continued hovering over the area after the attacks’. The strikes hit villages ‘several kilometers‘ from each other with strikes that came ‘minutes apart‘. The Long War Journal cited a US intelligence official as saying that repeated CIA strikes on the Shawal valley area had been targeting an ‘important jihadi leader.’ Across the border in Afghanistan on the same day, an airstrike also killed TTP commander Mullah Dadullah, commander of the Pakistan Taliban in Bajaur Agency.
At least six were killed in the village of Makai of Maki Ghar in a strike around 11am or noon local time. Pakistani officials said the compounds were used by militants when crossing into Afghanistan. Tribal sources said the compounds belonged to local tribesmen and the dead included Punjabis and foreigners of Arab origin. AFP said the area hit ‘is an area used by militants belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, the Afghan Taliban allied Haqqani network and the Hafiz Gul Bahadur group.’ A Bureau researcher, citing Pakistan intelligence and Taliban sources, named those killed in the first strike as:
Four Turkistanis named as Emeti Yakuf, aka Abdul Jabar; 35-36 year old Yaku Emeti aka Saleh; Tuersun Toheti aka Zabeh ullah; and Mukhtar. Additionally two Pakistan Taliban (TTP) militants died named as Karim and Matee ullah.
Dawn also reported that Emeti Yakuf had died, naming him as ‘Emir’ of the East Turkistan Movement.
Location: Makai/Maki Ghar, Shawal, North Waziristan
References: Dawn, Express Tribune, Xinhua, CNN, AFP, The News, Associated Press, Xinhua, Reuters, Xinhua, The News Tribe, Associated Press, Reuters, PTI, KUNA, PakTribune, PTI, BBC, ANI, Xinhua, Radio Liberty, The News, Al Jazeera, AFP, The Nation (Pakistan), PTI, Voice Of America, AAP, UK Press Association, Long War Journal, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, CBS News, Dawn, The Nation (Pakistan), Dawn, Pakistan Today
Ob290 – August 24 2012
♦ Reported killed Dara only: 4-6
In a second strike CIA drones hit another walled compound, killing at least four. A Bureau researcher, citing Pakistan intelligence and Taliban sources, said that ‘six militants’ were killed in this strike including local TTP commander Gil Aman.
The Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Ahmad Khan was giving a press conference as news of the strikes broke. ‘We regard these strikes as illegal and unproductive,’ he said, adding: ‘These attacks also violate our sovereignty, territorial integrity and are in contravention of international laws.’
Location: Dara, Shawal, North Waziristan
References: Dawn, Express Tribune, Xinhua, CNN, AFP, The News, Associated Press, Xinhua, Reuters, Xinhua, The News Tribe, Associated Press, Reuters, PTI, KUNA, PakTribune, PTI, BBC, ANI, Xinhua, Radio Liberty, The News, Al Jazeera, AFP, The Nation (Pakistan), PTI, Voice Of America, AAP, UK Press Association, Long War Journal, New York Times, SANA, The News, Christian Science Monitor, CBS News, The Nation (Pakistan)
Ob291 – August 24 2012
♦ Reported killed Dre Nishter only: 3-8
In the third coordinated strike at least three people were reported killed when drones targeted two vehicles in Dre Nisther. The drones reportedly fired five missiles at the vehicles in this strike.
Location: Dre Nisther, Shawal, North Waziristan
References: Dawn, Express Tribune, Xinhua, CNN, AFP, The News, Associated Press, Xinhua, Reuters, Xinhua, The News Tribe, Associated Press, Reuters, PTI, KUNA, PakTribune, PTI, BBC, ANI, Xinhua, Radio Liberty, The News, Al Jazeera, AFP, The Nation (Pakistan), PTI, Voice Of America, AAP, UK Press Association, Long War Journal, New York Times, Christian Science Monitor, CBS News, The Nation (Pakistan)
Ob292 – September 1 2012
♦ 4-6 reported killed
♦ 2-3 injured
After a week’s pause the CIA’s offensive in Waziristan continued. Attacks at 9am on a housing compound and a vehicle in Degan reportedly killed up to six people. The News noted:
Unconfirmed reports suggested that most of the militants slain in the attack were aligned with the group of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who is head of the local Taliban in North Waziristan. There were also reports attributed to unnamed government officials that two out of the five men killed in the strike were foreigners. The remaining three were stated to be local militants.
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