Unmanned US strike aircraft have hit the Taliban in North Waziristan for the second time in three days, after a nearly two-week lull in attacks.
The unmanned Predators or Reapers fired two Hellfire missiles at a car in the village of Ambor Shaga near Miramshah.
“Four militants were killed in the missile strike,” a Pakistani intelligence official told AFP. Three other militants were reported to have been wounded. The Taliban fighters had pulled the car over to pray, according to a report in The Associated Press.
No senior Taliban or al Qaeda leaders have been reported killed in the airstrike.
Today’s airstrike took place in a region administered by North Waziristan Taliban leader Hafiz Gul Bahadar. Al Qaeda and allied Pakistani and Central Asian jihadi groups shelter in Bahadar’s tribal areas, and they also run training camps and safe houses in the region. The Pakistani military has indicated it has no plans to take on Bahadar or the Haqqani Network, a deadly Taliban group that is closely allied with al Qaeda and is also based in North Waziristan.
Today’s strike is the second reported inside Pakistan this month, and the second in three days. On April 12, US aircraft fired two missiles on a compound run by a known local Taliban leader in the village of Boya, near Miramshah, killing five Taliban fighters.
US strikes in Pakistan, by the numbers
So far this year, the US has carried out 28 strikes in Pakistan; all of the strikes have taken place in North Waziristan. In 2009, the US carried out 53 strikes in Pakistan; and in 2008, the US carried out 36 strikes in the country. [For up-to-date charts on the US air campaign in Pakistan, see: “Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2010.”]
Unmanned US Predator and Reaper strike aircraft have been pounding Taliban and al Qaeda hideouts in North Waziristan over the past several months in an effort to kill senior terror leaders and disrupt the networks that threaten Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the West. [For more information, see LWJ report, “Senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2010.”]
Most recently, on March 8, a US strike in a bazaar in Miramshah killed a top al Qaeda operative known as Sadam Hussein Al Hussami. Hussami was a prot