US drone kills five Taliban amid Pakistani army operations

US drone attack kills five alleged Taliban members as Pakistani army operations continue against militants in North Waziristan

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

A US drone attack on Monday allegedly killed five Taliban militants in the restless North Waziristan province of Pakistan, officials told Anadolu Agency.

A senior Pakistani military official told AA within anonymity that a US predator had fired two missiles on a vehicle in the Shawal valley which killed five suspected to be  Taliban members.

Earlier on Monday 22 militants were also killed during an air and ground operation in the adjoining town of Datta Khel in North Waziristan.

Meanwhile the Pakistani army also announced on Monday that it killed at least nine suspected to be separatists in a clash with security forces in the  southwestern Baluchistan province where the Baluchi nationalists frequently attack on Pakistani security targets.  

North Waziristan and Khyber agency, the two of seven semi-autonomous tribal regions in Pakistan, are also believed to be the new bastion of Pakistani Taliban militants who perceive Pakistani army and NATO as their arch enemies in the region.

Around 400 US drone strikes are said to have killed nearly 3,400 people, 70 percent of whom are also believed to be civilians, since 2004, according to reports released by Pakistani intelligence and international human rights groups, including Amnesty International.

The Pakistani government essentially disagrees with the US administration on drone strikes which have been sparking the public outrage in the country since they have caused an overwhelming proportion of civilian casualties instead of targeting the Pakistani Taliban members.

The Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has increased its offensive against the Pakistani army since the militant group splitted from the Afghan Taliban in 2007.

Pakistani army has increased its effort to cope with the militant insurgency since the last year’s school attack in Peshawar.

The ongoing operations left behind nearly 2600 militants dead, whereas 100 Pakistani soldiers have been killed by the militants.

The chaos created by both army operations and Taliban militancy caused the displacement of at some 1.5 million people from Pakistan's tribal areas.

Pakistan and Afghanistan have been long suffering from the Taliban militancy since the US invaded Afghanistan in 2001 and the militants gained ground again soon after the NATO’s ISAF mission withdrew from Afghanistan as of the end of 2014.

Pakistani government this month agreed on a memorandum of understanding that proposed intelligence sharing with Afghanistan in order to exhibit a joint effort in the combat against Taliban.

But, the memorandum of understanding has created some discontent among Afghanistan’s political and military elites who have long been accusing Pakistan of patronising certain Taliban groups on its soil and the rock relations between Kabul and Islamabad.

TRTWorld and agencies