January 6th, 2010
09:25 AM ET

Sources: Suspected drone strikes kill militants in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan  - At least 13 suspected militants were killed in a tribal region of Pakistan near the Afghan border Wednesday, apparently by missiles fired from unmanned U.S. aircraft, two Pakistani intelligence sources told CNN. The strikes are the fourth and fifth suspected drone strikes in less than a week - since seven Central Intelligence Agency officers and contractors were killed by a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on December 30.

Suspected drone strikes took place about once every week to 10 days in October and November, according to records kept by the Center for American Progress, a Washington think tank.

The first incident took place around 3:50 p.m. local time (5:50 a.m. ET), and the second just over an hour later, apparently targeting militants who gathered at the scene of the first attack. One source said 13 had been killed, and another put the number of dead at 14.

The strikes took place in the Sanazala area of the Dattakhel subdivision of the North Waziristan region –the largely autonomous tribal region near the border with Afghanistan. The area has been the scene of heavy fighting between Pakistani military forces and the Taliban, the Islamic militia that also is battling U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military routinely offers no comment on reported attacks by drones, or unmanned aircraft. However, the United States is the only country operating in the region known to have the ability to launch missiles from remote-controlled aircraft.

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Black & Blue

    What Will The World Do When The Terrorrists Have Drone Technolgy

    January 29, 2010 at 11:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. James Swiatek

    A very good idea per'se if possible. Land unmaned vehicles would be much more prone to easier destruction by inexpensive materials, as well as by easily trained even illiterate enemies. Good thought though,,possibly for open areas.

    January 7, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  3. jan

    god job

    January 7, 2010 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
  4. Ernie P.

    Blow those terrorists to kingdom come....

    January 6, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  5. A. Smith, Oregon

    News filtering out of the Islamabad badlands is that the Reaper and Predator flights are having a successful psychological effect on the tribes and clans that hear the drones flying over their villages day and night and wonder who is going to be the next to be attacked.

    After many years of fighting against having remotely operated combat aircraft, the US Airforce appears to have definitely made an about face decision which openly embraces unmanned vehicles among its cutting edge combat aircraft.

    I wonder when the US Army will add a Terminator type unmanned street sweeper to supplement its combat capabilities?

    With the cost of training a single US fighter pilot and the cost of a new combat fighter jet, the US Airforce can purchase 100 fully equipped Reaper drones and lose 40 of them in high risk missions and still come out far ahead just in the money saved.

    With the cost of training 6 combat soldiers and the cost of a new MRAP vehicle to carry them out into the field to their target, the US Army could purchase several Terminator type unmanned street sweeper prototypes to patrol Afghanistan villages and around forward Afghanistan operating bases without risking a single soldiers life by ambushes or IEDs.

    January 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |