At least 10 militants were killed in another presumed US drone strike on Pakistan’s tribal areas July 3. The missiles reportedly hit the hideout of Taliban commander Noor Wali in Mochikhel, South Waziristan—a district controlled by Pakistan’s top Taliban leader, Baitullah Mehsud. Noor Wali is part of Baitullah Mehsud’s Tehrik-e-Taliban organisation. Mochikhel is near the key Servakai route, currently the scene of fighting between Pakistani security forces and Mehsud’s militants. There have been an estimated 35 US strikes since last August, killing over 340 people. (BBC, July 3)
Some 10,000 Pakistanis marched June 29 in the southern port city of Karachi to denounce the drone strikes and US influence in the country generally. Members of Jamaat-e-Islami burnt US flags and chanted slogans such as “Leave America, Leave!” and “Down with the US!” Jamaat-e-Islami leader Munawar Hassan held US responsible for instability in Pakistan, and held President Obama responsible for the killing of “innocent people” in the drone strikes. Washington says the drone attacks are aimed at suspected militants, but Pakistani media say only one-sixth of US missiles actually hit militant hideouts. (Press TV, Iran, June 29)
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