Skip to main content

U.S. drone strike on Haqqani compound in Pakistan said to have killed 16

By Saima Mohsin and Jethro Mullen, CNN
updated 8:50 AM EDT, Fri July 5, 2013
Pakistani anti-drone protesters from the United Citizen Action torch a U.S. flag in Multan on May 30, 2013.
Pakistani anti-drone protesters from the United Citizen Action torch a U.S. flag in Multan on May 30, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The Pakistani foreign ministry condemns the attack
  • The strike targets a compound of the Haqqani Network, which attacks NATO forces
  • Militants attack a paramilitary checkpoint, killing six constabulary members
  • U.S. drone strikes have drawn fierce opposition in Pakistan due to civilian casualties

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- A U.S. drone strike targeting a militant compound in Pakistan's volatile tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan has killed 16 people, Pakistani security officials said Wednesday.

The officials said the attack early Wednesday struck a compound of the Haqqani Network, a group that carries out attacks against NATO forces in Afghanistan and travels back and forth across the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The strike killed 16 militants and wounded five others in the Dande Darpakhel area near Miranshah in North Waziristan, the officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. Officials had earlier given a higher death toll of 17.

It wasn't immediately clear if any high-profile insurgent figures had been killed in the attack. The militants in the compound were from both Pakistan and Afghanistan, the officials said.

The U.S. government has said strikes by the unmanned aircraft are a necessary part of the fight against militant groups. But the attacks have drawn deep opposition in Pakistan because of civilian casualties and the violation of sovereignty.

FBI admits using drones in U.S.
A drone's view of riot zone
Drone rules apply to Pakistan strike?
CNN Explains: Drones

Gunmen kill 11 at base camp in Pakistan

The Pakistani government "strongly condemns the U.S. drone strike that took place in Miranshah," the country's foreign ministry said in a statement.

"The Government of Pakistan has consistently maintained that drone strikes are counter-productive, entail loss of innocent civilian lives and have human rights and humanitarian implications," the ministry said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for the United States to halt drone strikes in the country. Wednesday's attack appeared to be the deadliest since Sharif took office last month.

In May, U.S. President Barack Obama defended the use of the drone program, but he stopped short of directly commenting on the strikes in Pakistan.

Relations between Washington and Islamabad have been strained since the U.S. raid inside Pakistan in May 2011 that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The United States carried out the raid without notifying Pakistani authorities.

Ties soured further after a NATO airstrike killed 24 Pakistani soldiers at a checkpoint near the Afghan border in November 2011. The drone strikes cause continued friction.

In another outbreak of violence in the Pakistani tribal areas early Wednesday, officials said more than 50 militants attacked a checkpoint of the Frontier Constabulary, a paramilitary force.

The attack to place about 40 kilometers southeast of the main city in the region, Peshawar, at a post where 15 members of the constabulary were stationed, said the force's chief, Commandant Majeed Marwat.

Six constabulary members were killed during the hour-long firefight that ensued, and seven others were wounded, Marwat said.

The constabulary was unable to provide any information on militant casualties from the clash.

Islamabad summons top U.S. envoy over deadly drone strike

CNN's Saima Mohsin reported from Islamabad, and Jethro Mullen reported and wrote from Hong Kong. Journalist Zahir Shah Sherazi contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT