A drone strike hit a compound in northern Pakistan, leaving at least 16 dead after the attack Wednesday.
While not confirmed by officials, the early morning strike is believed to have come from US forces. The attack was directed at a building suspected to be housing militants associated with Haqqani Network, reports CNN.
Officials, speaking anonymously, told press sources that the strike occurred near Miranshah in North Waziristan, an area close to Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan. The tribal region is known to US and NATO forces as a frequent base of operation for terrorist and guerrilla groups like the Taliban.
This is one of the most significant drone strikes in recent times. However, it is currently unknown whether any major targets, such as Haqqani leadership, were among those left dead by the strike.
Reporting from local sources, UPI described the attack involving a drone firing four missiles at the house and a nearby vehicle. At least 16 were killed, and two or more were left injured.
News of the drone strike in the Pakistani government did not go over well. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who became the new head of Pakistan earlier this year, has not been ambiguous about his opposition to the US drone campaign.
As such, the Pakistani government has publicly condemned the drone strike via a statement delivered by the foreign ministry.
The statement reiterates the government’s belief that drone strikes are “counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives, and have human rights and humanitarian implications.”
President Obama has continued to defend the US drone program. He has, though, restrained from openly commenting on operations in Pakistan, programs which many critics consider not only morally questionable but possibly illegal.
In recent times the Pakistan Taliban have been involved in and taken credit for several deadly attacks including an assault on mountain climbing tourists. The group asserts that the latest wave of terror attacks are retaliation for US drone strikes against their people.
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