Monday 31 December 2012

Violence and drne attacks in Pakistan and Yemen

At Least 41 Killed in Pakistan Militant Attacks

Mass Executions of Captives, Attack on Shi'ite Pilgrims


by Jason Ditz, December 30, 2012
A pair of extremely ugly militant attacks on two opposite sides of Pakistan have left at least 41 people dead, including members of the Frontier Corps (FC) and a convoy of Shi’ite pilgrims along the Iranian border.

The killing for the FC members caps a recent storming of a pair of bases around Peshawar, in which a large number of the soldiers were taken hostage. 21 of them were executed according to provincial officials. The other was critically wounded but expected to survive.

Taliban officials claimed credit for the FC executions, saying that their council of clerics gave the order, and that no demands for prisoner exchanges were considered when prisoners are caught in clashes.

The other incident took place in the southwest, where a car bomb targeted a bus full of Shi’ite pilgrims heading to Iran. 20 of the pilgrims were killed and 24 others were wounded in the attack.

US Drone Strike in Pakistan Kills Five, Injures Three

The identities of the people targeted are not known, as are most of the anonymous victims of US bombs


by John Glaser, December 29, 2012

US drone strike on a house in a remote area of northwest Pakistan killed five people and injured three others on Friday, although no information was made public about the identities of those killed and maimed.
Sources in the Pakistani government and local tribal sources said the drone fired four missiles on the house, destroying it completely.

report by researchers at the Stanford and NYU schools of law found in September that the drone program is “terrorizing” the people of Pakistan and that it is having “counterproductive” effects.

The US drone war in Pakistan not only kills and injures civilians, the report finds, but it traumatizes the population and has led people to keep their children home from school and to avoid any large grouping of people, however innocent. It also says the drone war has helped recruitment efforts of extremist groups like al-Qaeda.

A significant rethinking of current US targeted killing and drone strike policies is long overdue. US policy-makers, and the American public, cannot continue to ignore evidence of the civilian harm and counter-productive impacts of US targeted killings and drone strikes in Pakistan,” the report said.

US Drone Strike Kills Three in Yemen

Drone strikes have been increasing in Yemen, prompting a rise in local al-Qaeda membership



by John Glaser, December 29, 2012

Three people were killed in southern Yemen in a US drone strike on Saturday, the fourth such attack this week.

Yemeni security officials speaking to the press said the three killed were al-Qaeda militants, but – as The Washington Post reported earlier this week – the Yemeni government as a policy tries to conceal when US drones kill civilians, so claiming the deceased are al-Qaeda militants is merely an automated response.

Drone stikes have been increasing in Yemen, prompting anger among the local populations being subjected to the attacks and coinciding with a marked increase in the estimated al-Qaeda membership.

Our entire village is angry at the government and the Americans,” a Yemeni villager named Mohammed told the Post. “If the Americans are responsible, I would have no choice but to sympathize with al-Qaeda because al-Qaeda is fighting America.”

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