President Barack Obama chairs a Cabinet meeting (White House/ Pete Souza)
The events detailed here occurred in 2013. These have been reported by US or Pakistani government, military and intelligence officials, and by credible media, academic and other sources, including on occasion Bureau researchers. Below is a summary of CIA drone strikes and casualty estimates for 2013. Please note that our data changes according to our current understanding of particular strikes. Below represents our present best estimate.
CIA strikes – Obama 2013
|Total CIA drone strikes||12|
|Total reported killed:||45-87|
|Civilians reported killed:||0-4|
|Children reported killed:||0-1|
|Total reported injured:||12-29|
For our 2012 Pakistan drone strike database click here, for 2011 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.
Ob305 – January 2 2013
♦ 6-11 reported killed
♦ Unknown injured
In one of their most significant recent strikes, CIA drones killed Maulvi Nazir, the powerful leader of a so-called ‘good Taliban’ faction, in a late evening (1035pm) attack near Wana in South Waziristan. The Express Tribune said the attack was ‘perhaps the most prized feather in [the] cap’ of the drone programme. Also reported killed were Nazir’s five sub-commanders, including deputies Maulvi Atta Ullah and Rafey (or Rapa) Khan, Allauddin, Ihsan and up to six others. The Tribune also named two local commanders, Kochai and Chewantee, among the dead.
Express Tribune quoted Taliban commander Eynollah Khan as saying: ‘Mullah Nazir became a target of the American drone [strikes] when he was coming back to Wana after completing a survey on [an] American base in Afghanistan.’ According to the New York Times, Nazir’s vehicle was struck as it travelled on the Birmal-Wana road. A senior Pakistani intelligence official told the paper: ‘He has been killed. It is confirmed. The vehicle he was travelling in was hit.’ However other sources including the Guardian said that Nazir died when a house was struck during a meeting of senior leaders. Wana mosques announced the death of the popular leader over loudspeakers, and as many as 10,000 people reportedly attended Nazir’s funeral the next day, local sources told AP. Bahwal Khan aka Ayubi was named as his successor, according to the Express Tribune.
Maulvi Nazir was long a target of the United States, and almost all recent drone strikes in South Waziristan were aimed at his forces. Whilst Nazir maintained peaceful relations with Islamabad (leading to the ‘good Taliban’ label) he had used Waziristan as a base to launch attacks on US, Nato and Afghan forces across the border for many years. While a tactical success for the CIA, some analysts predicted that Nazir’s death might increase instability and violence in the region, at least initially.
AFP reported that senior Pakistani security officials were locked in talks to discuss the implications of Nazir’s death. One told the agency: ‘There will be a setback in a way. He was one of those who were keeping his area under effective control and preventing the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan [TTP] from operating there. So it will make a difference.’ Dawn reported that ‘thousands’ took place in a Wana protest against US drone strikes on January 5.
On the same day as Nazir’s killing a US court rejected a Freedom of Information request by the New York Times and ACLU calling for the US government to reveal the legal basis of covert drone strikes. US District Court Judge Colleen McMahon said in a written statement that an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ situation presently exists in which the US can claim such strikes to be legal, while keeping secret the basis of such claims:
I can find no way around the thicket of laws and precedents that effectively allow the Executive Branch of our government to proclaim as perfectly lawful certain actions that seem on their face incompatible with our Constitution and laws, while keeping the reasons for their conclusion a secret.
Three weeks after Nazir’s death a ‘bullet-riddled‘ body was dumped on the side of a road in South Waziristan. The victim was responsible for the deaths of five high-ranking Taliban militants including Maulvi Nazir, according to a note found on the corpse. The alleged spy was Afghan national Asmatullah Kharoti. ‘He presented Nazir and others digital Holy Quran as a gift which were fitted with chips which help US drones strike their targets,’ a Taliban fighter told AFP. Kharoti’s body was dumped next to the Ajab Noor Mosque in Wana Rustham Bazaar, where Nazir survived a suicide bombing in December 2012.
Location: Angor Adda, Wana, South Waziristan
Reference: Reuters, Associated Press, Al Arabiya, New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, RTT News, Wired, New York District Court (pdf), Sky News, PTI, Los Angeles Times, Voice of America, Frontier Post, Dawn, Guardian, BBC, The News, AFP, NBC News, Bureau, UPI, Telegraph, Express Tribune, Al Jazeera, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, The Times (£), Xinhua/ANI, The News, Dawn
Mauvli Nazir interviewed by al Jazeera before his death.
Ob306 – January 3 2013
♦ 3-6 reported killed
♦ Unknown injured
A double missile strike on a vehicle near Mir Ali, North Waziristan, reportedly killed four people, among them reportedly Faisal Khan, a local leader of the Pakistan Taliban or TTP. Also killed with him, according to the Washington Post, were two ‘Uzbek militants’; Express Tribune put the toll at six and named two more of the dead as Israr Mehsud and Latif. According to Associated Press, ‘one missile hit a vehicle near the town, followed by another missile when people rushed to the vehicle to help people in the car.’ CNN also reported that drones targeted rescuers. The deliberate targeting of first responders by the CIA is controversial, and is presently being investigated by UN experts as a possible war crime. However The News reported instead that ‘Tribal sources said the drone fired four missiles on the speeding pick-up truck. Three missiles missed the target but the fourth hit it.’
On February 2 the TTP attacked a Pakistan military outpost at Lakki Marwat in North Waziristan, killing 13 soldiers and as many as a dozen militants. The TTP contested the death toll, saying only four suicide bombers took part in the attack although an ensuing fire-fight reportedly lasted for up to four hours. At least ten civilians were also killed, including three children. Reports conflicted but it appeared either a suicide bomber destroyed a civilian home or it was hit by Pakistani rocket fire. A TTP spokesman said:
Pakistan has been co-operating with the US in its drone strikes that killed our two senior commanders, Faisal Khan and Toofani (see Ob307), and the attack on military camp was the revenge of their killing,
Location: Mir Ali, North Waziristan
Reference: Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Frontier Post, Dawn, AFP, UPI, Express Tribune, Al Jazeera, The News, Reuters, New York Times, BBC, AFP, al Jazeera, LA Times
Ob307 – January 6 2013
♦ 8-18 reported killed
♦ 3-7 reported injured
The CIA continued its New Year offensive with the third strike in five days – possibly the bloodiest attack in 88 days (Ob297). Between 8 and 18 people were reported killed when as many as five US drones fired a barrage of missiles in a pre-dawn strike (2.30am). The unmanned aircraft battered the Babar Ghar area of South Waziristan according to several reports. The target was reportedly an alleged militant training camp run by Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban (TTP). One of the commanders present was reportedly a cousin of the TTP leader. Pakistani intelligence officials told Associated Press he was Wali Muhammad Mahsud (aka Toofan); Dawn reported he died in the attack. They alleged he was responsible for training TTP suicide bombers. Others killed were reported to be ‘Punjabi Taliban’. Two or three locations were reportedly targeted in the strike – the buildings were said to have caught fire leaving bodies burnt beyond recognition. NBC News cautioned that the death toll could rise as ‘dozens’ of alleged militants were at the scene at the time of the strike. Civilians who rushed to the site to search for survivors reported several drones remained over the area after the strike.
This was the second drone strike in three days that reportedly targeted TTP militants. On January 3 an alleged TTP commander was killed. These strikes followed the January 2 killing of powerful militant leader Maulvi Nazir. His group had been labelled ‘good Taliban’ as they focused their operations on Nato and Afghan targets in Afghanistan. The TTP – so-called ‘bad Taliban’ – reportedly focus attacks on the Pakistani government and military. Associated Press reported that this latest strike ‘may be less likely to anger the Pakistani military and public’ than the killing of Nazir ‘because it targeted militants believed to have been going after targets in Pakistan and not in neighbouring Afghanistan.’ Cricketer turned presidential-hopeful Imran Khan condemned the strike. He said the government had turned Pakistan into a banana republic and called on Islamabad to ‘take the nation into confidence about the details and identify those killed in drone attack’.
The TTP attacked a Pakistani Army outpost on February 2. As many as 35 people died in the attack: 13 soldiers, 12 militants and at least 10 civilians, including three children. The TTP contested the death toll, saying only four suicide bombers took part in the attack although an ensuing fire-fight reportedly lasted for up to four hours. A Taliban spokesman said the Pakistani state was supporting the US drone strikes. He said the attack was in retaliation for the drone strikes that killed Wali Muhammad Mahsud and Faisal Khan (Ob306). The circumstances of the civilian deaths were unclear. Reports conflicted over whether a suicide bomber destroyed a civilian home or if the house was hit by Pakistani rocket fire.
Location: Babar Ghar, South Waziristan
Reference: Associated Press, AFP, The News Tribe, Express Tribune, KUNA, Xinhua, Voice of America, PTI, NBC News, Times of India, RFE/RL, Zee News, Pakistan Today, Reuters, NBC News, BBC, Dawn, Dawn, CNN, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Press Release, Reuters, New York Times, BBC, AFP, al Jazeera, LA Times
Ob308 – January 8 2013
♦ 4-9 reported killed
♦ 0-2 civilians, 0-1 child
♦ 1-4 reported injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed senior Pakistani security official (Dawn).
In twin strikes CIA drones killed at least six people, including up to two reported civilians. There were conflicting accounts of the events that night. Some sources reported there was a single strike that killed up to nine people. However multiple sources reported up to 17 missiles were fired on two close but separate targets at least 15 minutes apart. The first of the potentially coordinated attacks killed at least four in Haider Khel village shortly after midnight. A mud built house, home to an ‘important Taliban leader‘, was reportedly destroyed. One report stated two Taliban commanders were killed, although without clarifying in which strike.
An al Qaeda operative was reportedly killed in the strike – a tactical trainer from Somalia or the United Arab Emirates according to Reuters. However the alleged al Qaeda militant was named as Sheikh Yaseen al Somali, the deputy commander of al Qaeda training in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He reportedly fled across the Afghan border to North Waziristan two years earlier. Dawn named him as Sheikh Yaseen al Kuwaiti. Citing a senior security official, the paper said he had married a local tribesman’s daughter who also died in the strike along with their own daughter. The official added:
Eight missiles were fired on the compound he was living in with his family. His house has been turned into rubble.
An anonymous US intelligence official told the Long War Journal, al Kuwaiti was a ‘key al Qaeda paramilitary commander’ who was ‘very high up the food chain’. He was reportedly a top commander and trainer for al Qaeda’s military wing the Lashkar al Zil, or Shadow Army.
Militants cordoned off the area after the attack, removing the bodies. And The News cautioned that ‘there was no confirmation’ that a ‘a foreign militant was among the slain people’. There were also reports that two Uzbeks may also have died. The drones hit their targets in North Waziristan before President Obama announced his nominee for Director of the Agency was John Brennan, his chief counterterrorism advisor and a leading proponent of the drone programme. And the attack came after retired General Stanley McCrystal told Reuters: ‘What scares me about drone strikes is how they are perceived around the world.’ He added:
The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes…is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who’ve never seen one or seen the effects of one.
Michael Boyle, an Obama security advisor from the 2008 election campaign, also expressed misgivings about the drone programme. He said the use of armed drones needed to be challenged and the civilian casualty count was likely far higher than officially acknowledged, according to the Guardian. He said drones were ‘encouraging a new arms race that will empower current and future rivals and lay the foundations for an international system that is increasingly violent.’
Location: Haider Khel near Mir Ali, North Waziristan
Reference: Associated Press, Reuters, BBC, Voice of America, Al Jazeera, AFP, Xinhua, The News Tribe, Ghana News Agency, PakTribune, Press Trust India, Punjab Newsline, Reuters, Guardian, Press Trust India, CNN, Dawn, The News, Express Tribune, Express Tribune, Long War Journal
Ob309 – January 8 2013
♦ 2-4 reported killed
♦ 1-2 reported injured
The Agency’s drones killed at least two people in the second strike in nearby Hesso Khel village. As many as 11 missiles were fired on a ‘two room house‘ belonging to Noor Mohammed – his fate was not reported. Villagers said there was no way to tell the identity or nationality of the ‘mutilated bodies’. Many drones were reportedly seen overhead after the strike making tribesmen panic. They ‘rushed to the site and pulled out the bodies from the debris’. Three of the missiles failed to explode, reportedly a frequent occurrence. The unexploded ordinance was collected by ’unknown people’ who took them ‘to an unknown location’.
Location: Hesso Khel near Mir Ali, North Waziristan
Reference: Associated Press, BBC, Voice of America, Al Jazeera, AFP, Xinhua, The News Tribe, Ghana News Agency, PakTribune, Press Trust India, Punjab Newsline, Reuters, Guardian, Press Trust India, CNN, Dawn, The News, Express Tribune, Express Tribune
Ob310 – January 10 2013
♦ 3-6 reported killed
♦ ’Several’ reported injured
At least four killed in Hesso Khel, the second strike on the village in three days. A house was destroyed in the strike. According to AFP two missiles destroyed the house and two drone-fired missiles hit a nearby motorcycle. Four people were killed in the house and two on the motorbike, the agency added. None of the casualties were identified. ’Six drones were in the sky at the time of the attack,’ a security official said, adding: ‘The compound was completely destroyed, bodies of all those killed were badly mutilated.’ A witness reported militants were seen collecting the burnt bodies.
It was the second strike in three days in an area reportedly dominated by militant Hafiz Gul Bahadur, ‘who is believed to be in a nonaggression pact with the Pakistani military.’ CIA drones have struck the village at least six times since 2004. Although this was the sixth strike in 10 days, the Pakistani government apparently remained quiet, noticeably so according to Associated Press. Throughout 2012 drone strikes were met with loud condemnation from Islamabad. The Pakistani government called in the US Charge d’Affaire to officially complain in June. And senior Pakistani diplomats told the Bureau the strikes were illegal and were undermining Pakistani democracy. Religious hardliners were also silent, Associated Press reported, adding:
It’s unclear whether the current uptick has been caused by particularly valuable intelligence obtained by the CIA, or whether the warming of relations between the two countries has made strikes less sensitive.
Ob311 – February 6 2013
♦ 3-5 killed
♦ 0-2 civilians
♦ ‘Several’ reported injured
The civilian casualty figures included in this summary are based on the following reports: Unnamed local Pakistani officials (Pakistan Today)
CIA drones reportedly destroyed a house and damaged others nearby, killing at least 3 people in the first strike for 27 days. Between two and six missiles reportedly hit the building at noon, which caught fire. The strike injured an unknown number in one of several nearby houses that were damaged by the blast. One report said the strike killed five, including ‘three suspected militants’. The house was reportedly occupied by alleged TTP militants. The strike coincided with a Pakistan Air Force attack reportedly on TTP targets in Orakzai Tribal Agency.
However the following month three anonymous US officials said this and the subsequent strike (Ob312) were not carried out by the US. They told the New York Times it was a Pakistan Air Force strike that was attributed to the CIA to avoid criticism from the Pakistani public. One official said: ‘We haven’t had any kinetic activity since January.’ A Pakistan military source told the New York Times: ‘The Pakistan Air Force does not generally undertake stand-alone strikes such as these because it is not equipped with the appropriate strike weapons.’
But a spokesman for the Pakistan military responded strongly to the New York Times Report. He denied Pakistan carried out the strike, saying: ‘Such an accusation is a distortion of the facts and seems to be aimed at diluting Pakistan’s stance on drone strikes.’ The spokesman denied the Pakistan military had carried out any strikes in the area on February 6. The Long War Journal subsequently reported that ‘US intelligence officials involved with the drone program in Pakistan’ said this and the subsequent strike were ‘US operations’.
Anonymous officials in Miranshah told Pakistan Today that three people were killed instantly when the building was ‘razed to the ground’. A Pakistan intelligence official said militants surrounded the site and moved the bodies to an unidentified location. However it was also reported that locals recovered five bodies from the debris. Express Tribune reported civilians immediately rushed to the site. This was contradicted by a report that said residents were initially reluctant to ‘leave their houses’ because drones hovered over the area after the strike. This reportedly delayed the rescue effort.
The strike came the same day as reports surfaced of the death of an alleged senior al Qaeda militant and his son. Abd el Kader Mahmoud Mohamed el Sayed, was apparently killed in May or June 2012, although the exact date and location was unknown. He was reportedly a ‘longtime senior jihadist leader and military commander’ who had led a militant cell in Milan, Italy.
The strike hit the day after a US Department of Justice memo explaining some of the secret legal justification for drone strikes was leaked the press. Also that day, Pakistan’s Ambassador to Washington denied her government quietly allows CIA drone strikes while publicly condemning them.
Location: Spinwam, North Waziristan
Reference: AFP, Xinhua, Dawn, KUNA, IANS, The Nation (Pakistan), PTI, Pakistan Today, Long War Journal, Pakistan Today, CNN, EFE, BNO, New York Times, Dawn, Inter-Services Public Relations Press Release, Long War Journal
Ob312 – February 8 2013
♦ 6-9 killed
♦ 2-6 injured
CIA drones reportedly killed at least six in a strike on the North-South Waziristan border. At least one house was destroyed in the strike. Two senior al Qaeda commanders Abu Majid al Iraqi and Sheikh Abu Waqas were reportedly killed. Yemeni Abu Waqas (35) was said to be a bomb making expert who was involved in ‘high profile attacks on US and Isaf forces’. Four Uzbek militants were also reported killed. Pakistan security officials and tribal sources said drones hit one or two houses in the attack.
However a conflicting reports of the attack emerged in March. Three anonymous US officials told the New York Times this and the previous strike (Ob311) were not carried out by the US. One official said: ‘We haven’t had any kinetic activity since January.’ They said the Pakistan Air Force was responsible for at least the February 6 strike. And they said the second strike ‘could have been the Taliban fighting among themselves. Or it could have been simply bad reporting.’ A Pakistan military source told the paper: ‘The Pakistan Air Force does not generally undertake stand-alone strikes such as these because it is not equipped with the appropriate strike weapons.’ The paper also reported the US gives the Pakistani military 30 minutes notice of drone strikes in South Waziristan.
However a spokesman for the Pakistan military refuted the New York Times report. He denied the Pakistan military carried out the strike, saying: ‘Such an accusation is a distortion of the facts and seems to be aimed at diluting Pakistan’s stance on drone strikes.’ And the Long War Journal subsequently reported that ‘US intelligence officials involved with the drone program in Pakistan’ said the two contested strikes were ‘US operations’.
There were confused reports of the immediate aftermath. The Miranshah security official said militants surrounded the area after the attack. And the News Tribe was told: ‘Fear prevailed in the area as more drones were flying in the air halting the rescuers to launch an operation to take out bodies from the debris of the destroyed house.’ However Xinhua said locals ‘rushed to the site and pulled out the bodies and injured from the rubble.’ The area was reportedly ‘inhibited by the Hakimullah Mehsud-led TTP fighters and also foreigners’. This strike came the day after incoming CIA director John Brennan’s senate hearing. Brennan is viewed as one of the chief architects of the rapid expansion of the drone programme under President Obama.
Location: Babar Ghar, South Waziristan
Reference: Dawn, AFP, Xinhua, PTI, Associated Press, Al Jazeera, News Tribe, NBC, AFP, Parda Phash, PTI, News Tribe, AFP, Express Tribune, The News, Gulf Today, Associated Press, Dawn, Xinhua, New York Times, Dawn, Inter-Services Public Relations Press Release, Long War Journal
Ob313 – March 10 2013
♦ 1-3 killed
♦ ‘Several’ others reported injured
The first drone strike in a month killed up to three people, although the circumstances of their death was unclear. Several reports said the strike hit the men riding on a horse, killing them and their horse instantly. However three unnamed officials told Associated Press that a single horse-borne alleged ‘foreign militant’ was killed. While several sources reported men on horseback were targeted by CIA drones, other reports said two alleged militants were killed when drones destroyed a house. Rescue work was reportedly delayed as drones hovered over the area after the strike. AFP reported a house and a man on horseback were targeted. And The News initially reported a house was targeted but subsequently said two alleged militants were killed on a motorcycle. The New York Times reported the men were killed riding either a horse or a motorcycle.
The identity of the dead was not immediately clear, a Pakistani official told the paper: ’We don’t know the identity of those killed, and our local contacts say the bodies were unrecognisable…We don’t know if they were locals or foreign militants.’ And a Taliban source said: ‘I cannot confirm their nationality and group affiliation at the moment’. The News reported ’there were strong indications that both were foreign fighters’. The drones reportedly struck at either 8.35am or 8.50am. Shortly after the strike ‘unrest erupted among local and foreign militants’ in the area, according to one report. The strike hit the day before UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson’s three day visit to Islamabad.
Location: Datta Khel, North Waziristan
References: News Tribe, Associated Press, The Nation, PTI, New York Times, Voice of America, RFE/RL, Pakistan Today, Dawn, AFP, Express Tribune, The News, AFP, The News, The Nation, Pakistan Today, Xinhua, UN OHRC Statement
Ob314 – March 21 2013
♦ 1-4 killed
♦ 1 reported injured
US drones killed up to four people in the first reported drone strike in 11 days. The strike either destroyed a house or a vehicle in a bazaar. The majority of sources said either three or four people died. However a single, unnamed intelligence source said only one person was killed. The bodies were reportedly burnt beyond recognition.
According to AP, CIA drones destroyed a vehicle in a bazaar, killing three occupants. It was traveling from the Afghan border to Datta Khel. Taliban commander Hafiz Gul Bahadur reportedly dominated the area but ‘it was not clear if the drone strike had targeted his group.’ The New York Times reported that four men were killed driving through a bazaar. The missiles hit just before midnight – an unusual hour for people to be moving about in the volatile region, the paper’s tribal source added. However an intelligence official told the paper only one person was killed. AFP and PTI also reported a vehicle was destroyed. And state-run Radio Pakistan merely said a US drone killed four people, citing ‘official sources’. However Dawn, The News Tribe and Xinhua reported a house was hit. A drone fired two missiles at the building, killing four and injuring one, according to Xinhua. The strike reportedly destroyed the house completely and made cracks in nearby buildings. Neighbours rushed to the site soon after the attack to start rescue work.
It was the first reported drone attack since UN special rapporteur Ben Emmerson said the strikes violate Pakistani sovereignty because Islamabad does not consent to the attacks. The strike came amid speculation the White House was going to shift control of the drone programme from the CIA to the Pentagon. And the strike came the same day General James Cartwright, the former vice chairman of Obama’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the ‘aggressive campaign of drone strikes could be undermining long-term efforts to battle extremism.’
Location: Datta Khel, North Waziristan
References: Dawn, PTI, Radio Pakistan, Associated Press, BBC, AFP, The News, QNA, The News Tribe, Xinhua, Voice of America, New York Times, RTT News, The Nation (Pakistan)
Ob315 – April 14 2013
♦ 4-6 killed
♦ ‘Several’ reported injured
At least four people were killed in the first drone strike for 24 days. Tribesmen reported as many as six drones were hovering over the area ‘since the afternoon, spreading panic among the residents’. One drone ‘fired two missiles at the time of sunset’, a local security official said. They reportedly hit 15 minutes apart, although intelligence officials said three missiles hit the building. Hashim Khan, a local tribesman, told NBC News five bodies were recovered from the debris ‘when two drones flying over the area disappeared’. In a statement, the Pakistani government said it ‘strongly condemns [the] US drone attack’. It added: ‘Such unilateral attacks are in contravention of International Law and counterproductive to the stability of this country.’ This was the first CIA drone strike since Mir Hazar Khan Khoso (84) was selected as caretaker prime minister. On March 24 the Pakistani electoral commission chose the retired judge to run an interim administration until polling day on May 11.
The missiles hit a house in the Manzarkhel area of Datta Khel. Officials and witnesses said the strike hit ‘after a double-cabin pickup truck entered the premises’. Haji Gul Badin, a local shopkeeper, said: ‘The bodies of the militants were severely burnt and it was hard to identify them.’ However two Pakistan intelligence officials said: ‘Two foreign militants believed to have been residing in the house were among those killed.’ After the evening strike militants reportedly moved the bodies to an unknown location. This was the third consecutive strike to hit a target in Datta Khel, a village close to the Afghan border and around 40km from Miranshah, the main population centre in North Waziristan. Sources within the political administration told Dawn the four dead were members of a militant group controlled by Hafiz Gul Bahadur.
On April 20, tweets by two alleged militants named as Al Wathiq Billah and Barod claimed al Qaeda intelligence chief Abu Ubaydah Abdullah al Adam had died in a strike on North Waziristan, according to SITE Intelligence. Although Barod’s tweet suggested al Adam had died in a strike on the day of the tweet, no strikes were reported on April 20; Ob315 is the closest North Waziristan strike. An unnamed US intelligence officer told the Long War Journal al Adam was a ‘very dangerous operative’ who was ‘on the target list’, adding: ‘He is essentially al Qaeda’s intelligence and internal security chief.’ Al Adam was a Palestinian national raised in Saudi Arabia, The News reported. He had replaced Mohammad Khalil Hasan al Hakaymah (aka Abu Jehad al Misri) on his death in a drone strike on November 1 2008 (B38).
Location: Datta Khel, North Waziristan
References: CNN, Express Tribune, Frontier Post, Geo TV, Dawn, Xinhua, The News, AFP, NBC News, The Nation, IANS, PTI, Associated Press, The News Tribe, Associated Press, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, KUNA, EFE, GNA, SANA, Long War Journal, The News
Ob316 – April 17 2013
♦ 4-6 people killed
♦ 2-7 people reported injured
At least four people were killed in the second strike of the month. At least two and as many as twelve missiles destroyed a house in a pre-dawn strike near Wana, although several sources described the target as a Taliban training camp. The strike hit either in Babar Ghar or Sararogha village, depending on reports. There were fears the death toll could rise as people reportedly remained trapped in the rubble. Locals dug dead and injured out of the wreckage but the rescue work was reportedly delayed out of fear the drones would strike again. Reports alleged all those killed were militants. But there were conflicting accounts of what militant group was occupying the house. Several reports said members of the Pakistani Taliban or TTP were killed. One report said Madni, a local TTP commander, was killed along with five unnamed militants. However one local security official said the dead were al Qaeda fighters.
This was the second drone strike since Pakistan’s civilian government surrendered authority to a caretaker administration in the build up to elections on May 11. The strike came the morning after Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, criticised the use of drones outside conflict zones. Using drones themselves is not a problem, he told reporters in Geneva. ‘But if a drone is used in a country where there is no armed conflict…there is a problem.’ He was speaking with journalists on his return from a four-day visit to Washington where he met with President Obama.
Location: Babar Ghar or Sararogha village, South Waziristan
References: IANS, The Nation (Pakistan), Dawn, al Jazeera, al Arabiya, Xinhua, AFP, UPI, The News, The News Tribe, Frontier Post, Associated Press, Bureau, PTI, The Nation (Pakistan), Pakistan Today, The News, RFE/RL, Khaama Press, KUNA
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