Ramadan drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan

US drones killed 10 supposed al-Qaeda militants in separate strikes targeting moving vehicles in Yemen Aug. 7—in the midst of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. The official SABA news agency said one of the dead was Abdullah Awad al-Masri AKA Abou Osama al-Maribi, described him as one of the “most dangerous elements” of al-Qaeda in the militant stronghold of Bayda province and the man in charge of a bomb-making lab. Another US drone targeted a second vehicle carrying three supposed al-Qaeda militants in the Zoukaika region of Hadramout province. (AP, Aug. 7) A US drone attack on Aug. 5 killed at least seven in Pakistan, striking a compound in Khushhali Turikhel village of North Waziristan tribal district. (NY Daily News, July 29)

The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan announced on its website this week that its leader Usmon Odil was killed in a drone strike in Miranshah, North Waziristan, in April. The militant group said it withheld news of his death until it could choose a replacement. The new IMU leader is the little-known Usman Ghazi. (Central Asia Online, Aug. 6)

Police in Islamabad are meanwhile enforcing a long-overlooked law that prohibits people from eating or drinking in public during Ramadan. The city’s upscale cafes are being targeted, but in one controversial case a journalist was beaten with belts by police when caught consuming a soft drink in his car at a secluded scenic overlook in the hills above Islamabad. The Ramadan Ordinance, passed in 1981 by military ruler Gen. Zia-ul-Haq, allows for violators to be jailed almost on the spot for up to three months. Prior to its instatement, restaurants simply covered their windows to conceal diners from public view.  (NY Daily News, Aug. 7)

See our last post on the struggle within Islam

  1. Eid drone strike in Pakistan
     A US drone strike targeting two militant vehicles early Aug. 19 killed at least four rebels in a restive Pakistani tribal region near the Afghan border. It was the second missile attack in hours in Shawal district of North Waziristan region. The first strike which targeted a compound had killed at least six militants in Shuwedar village in Shawal district the day before. (Dawn, Pakistan, Aug. 19)