U.S. Drone Missiles Kill 4 in Pakistan
Updated from 7:47 a.m. EDT with information on Friday's U.S. drone attack in Pakistan.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- At least four suspected militants were killed in a Taliban and al Qaeda stronghold after a U.S. drone fired two missiles into a vehicle in Pakistan's tribal Datta Khel district of North Waziristan on Friday, after two suicide bombers killed 80 people at a paramilitary training center in Pakistan in the first retaliation for the killing of Osama Bin Laden.
"We have done this to avenge the Abbottabad incident," Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, told The Associated Press in a phone call. He warned that the group was also planning attacks on Americans living inside Pakistan.
|Pakistani security officials gather at the site of a bombing outside a paramilitary training center in Shabqadar near Peshawar, Pakistan, on Friday.|
Hours after the bombing, a U.S. drone aircraft fired missiles at a vehicle in the North Waziristan region on the Afghan border, killing up to four militants, Reuters reported, citing Pakistani security officials.The U.S. drone attack was the fourth such strike since Bin Laden was killed, and the 24th so far this year compared to 111 in all of 2010, according to CNN's Islamabad bureau. Pakistan officially objects to these attacks, saying they violate its sovereignty. However, the U.S. said the strikes have been carried out under an agreement with Pakistan, Reuters said. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in Shabqadar at the main gate of the facility for the Frontier Constabulary as 900 men were leaving the center, many of them looking forward to seeing their families after six months of training, a survivor said. "We were heading toward a van when the first blast took place and we fell on the ground and then there was another blast," 21-year-old Rehmanullah Khan told the AP. "We enjoyed our time together, all the good and bad weather and I cannot forget the cries of my friends before they died." At least 80 people were killed, including 66 recruits, and around 120 people were wounded, the AP said, citing police officer Liaqat Ali Khan. The Taliban spokesman suggested the attack was aimed as punishment against Pakistani authorities for failing to stop the U.S. from finding Bin Laden. "The Pakistani army has failed to protect its land," Ahsan said. Meanwhile, Pakistan is currently facing international suspicion that some of its security forces may have been helping to hide Bin Laden before he was found and killed in a raid in Abbottabad. The leader of al Qaeda and the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs in a military operation at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, about 40 miles outside the capital of Islamabad, last Sunday. --Written by Theresa McCabe in Boston.
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