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Suspected U.S. Drone Attack Kills at Least 18, Injures 14 in North Waziristan

On Thursday, January 14, two missiles from a suspected U.S. drone attack killed at least 18 and injured another 14 at a compound based in Pasalkot, Pakistan, a village in North Waziristan. Pakistani officials have stated that Hakimullah Mehsud, the Taliban chief in Pakistan, was the target of the attack. A Pakistani security official acknowledged that “We had information that he was around there. We’re checking on whether he was killed.”

The United States Central Intelligence Agency has increasingly relied upon the use of drones, including the Predator drone and the Reaper drone, in the tribal regions of Pakistan along the Afghan border. The drones are useful militarily because they are controlled remotely and can carry Hellfire missiles, target a particular location with no forewarning, and disencumber U.S. forces. The use of drones in regions such as North Waziristan has remained very unpopular in Pakistan where civilian casualties are not uncommon and the attacks are often highly publicized.


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