U.S. Predator Goes Down in Waziristan
Muhammad Taimoor – Islamabad, 23 Sep. 2008
Tribesmen claim to have shot down a U.S. drone in the skies over Jalal Khel, a village in the Angor Adda district of Waziristan. It was the ever first US surveillance craft to have gone down in the Pakistani territories bordering Afghanistan.
The US drones have become frequent visitors to the tribal areas, attacking villages within the Pakistani border. The drones are mostly armed with Hell Fire missiles.
On 13 August a US drone fired four missiles on the Waziristan village of Angor Adda, killing nine people. With that attack the total number killed in Wazirstan exceeded 300 hundred in 25 attacks by US drones.
On 3rd September NATO helicopters landed in a small village of the Angor Adda district in South Waziristan, conducting an operation based on their supposed intelligence. During the course of the operation 20 people were killed, including three women and four children.
Pakistan’s pro-American government condemned the attack but the US Government has since refused to comment on it.
The very next day five more people were killed in Waziristan in a missile attack launched from Afghanistan. On 8th September the drones fired 10 missiles killing more than 25 people.
Although the US Government offered assurances of no further attacks in Pakistani territory, another missile attack was made by a drone; in all 12 people were killed in this attack, including women and children.
Despite warnings by Pakistan Army Chief that the army would respond to any further attack, no action was taken against the continued predator incursions into Waziristan.
However, earlier Tuesday the predator received an unexpected welcome from tribesmen in the region.
Despairing of any action to remedy the situation from Pakistan’s pro-Western government, locals reportedly took matters into their own hands.
Reports received in Islamabad indicate that the drone was shot down in an incident that is likely to increase tensions between Washington and Islamabad.
The debris from the drone was scattered over the village Jalal Khel and was later taken into custody by Pakistani troops.
Although locals claim the drone was “shot down” by armed tribesmen U.S. officials claim that if the predator did indeed go down a technical malfunction was most likely the cause.
Last updated 27/09/2008