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
July 5, 2013 -- Updated 1250 GMT (2050 HKT)
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
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
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