‘2,714 people killed in US drone attacks in Pakistan since 2004

Taliban chief was a casualty of drone strikes in 2016

The U.S. has carried out a total of 409 drone attacks in Pakistan targeting suspected militants since January 2004, killing 2,714 people and injuring 728 others, a media report said on Friday.

The attacks, carried out by the CIA-operated drones over the years have targeted the areas of Bajaur, Bannu, Hangu, Khyber, Kurram, Mohmand, North Waziristan, Nushki, Orakzai, and South Waziristan, the Dawn newspaper reported.

Majority of the drone strikes were carried out during the government of the Pakistan Peoples Party between 2008 and 2012.

Citing sources within the National Counter Terrorism Authority, the report said the period saw 336 aerial attacks, in which 2,282 people died and 658 were injured.

Officials said that 2010 alone saw 117 attacks that killed 775 people and injured 193.

Between 2013 and 2018 — during the government of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz — 65 drone attacks occurred in which 301 people were killed and 70 others injured.

The top leadership of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan has been killed in drone attacks. Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in one of such strikes in 2016.

Days after Mullah Mansour’s killing, then Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif had said: “US drone strikes in Pakistani territory are regrettable and must stop.”

Pakistan opposes drone strikes, saying they violate its sovereignty.

The officials said that 289 attacks were conducted in North Waziristan alone, in which 1,651 individuals were killed and 421 others injured. South Waziristan saw 91 attacks that killed 707 individuals and injured 215.

Sajjad Hussain

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