Pakistani Army officials claimed that four militants were killed when an American drone fired missiles at them in the Province of FATA (Federally Administered Tribal Areas). The incident occurred today morning, in the North Waziristan Agency, near the district headquarters of Miranshah. The Pakistani Urdu-language TV channel ARY reported that five US drones were involved in the attack, and a total of two missiles were fired.
According to the local sources, the attacks targeted a residential compound, which acted as a militant hideout. Provincial authorities confirmed the deaths of at least four people in the village of Datta Khel Kalai, while the Chinese news agency Xinhua said that 5 people were killed in the military action. The latest incident is the third such drone attack during the last 3 months, and is likely to affect the diplomatic relations between the US and Pakistan negatively. In March, the Pakistani parliament had asked the US to respect its territorial sovereignty and to cease the air attacks inside its international boundaries.
Although the US claims that many high ranking figures of the Al Qaeda and other insurgent groups have been eradicated in the drone strikes, Pakistani parliamentarians are complaining that the collateral damage is driving more and more civilians to take an anti-US stand and to join the insurgents. Pakistani officials claim that the operations which Pakistani Army is undertaking in the FATA and NWFP regions, with the help of local pro-government militias are very effective and said that the reduced incidents of militancy for the past several years in the region can be attributed to it. They are claiming that rather than doing something that could help the Pak Army, the drone strikes are actually harming their efforts by turning the locals against them.
Although the drone strikes have been termed as one of the main components in its battle against terror in the Afghanistan and neighbouring regions by the United States Armed Forces, the deaths of several civilians and members of the Pakistani Armed Forces during the operations stand as a testimony for its lack of accuracy or reliability. A total of 210 drone attacks have been carried out by the American armed forces inside Pakistani during 2009-11.